Rendezvous features 1700s military
units, traditional craft demonstrations, period music and dancing,
an 18th-century fashion show, black powder shooting events, cannon
firings, and more from the time when France controlled what is now
the state of Illinois. All activities are free and open to the
public, and many feature public participation. The event is
co-sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Les
Coureur de Bois de Fort de Chartres.
Each day's activities begin with the
opening ceremony and "Posting of Colours" at 10 a.m. The retreat
ceremony ends each day's activities at 4:30 p.m. The Rev. Albert
Kreher of St. Joseph's Church in Prairie du Rocher will lead Mass at
Fort de Chartres Chapel at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 6.
Rendezvous is famous for its period
shooting and military competitions. Saturday will feature rifle
aggregate and smoothbore competition from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday will feature a knife and hawk throwing competition from 11
a.m. to 2 p.m., and La Grande Cannon Fusillade (The Big Cannon
Shootout) from noon to 2 p.m. The fort's cannon will be fired
hourly, preceded by an instruction in the art of cannon firing by
the 17th Illinois Territorial Rangers, French Colonial Artillerie
and a British artillery unit.
Scores of period artisan and craft
demonstrations will include pottery, blacksmithing, silversmithing,
coopering, pewter casting, felt making, silk ribbon embroidery, bow
making, weaving, woodworking, basketry, hornsmithing, gunsmithing,
treenware making, silhouette cutting and cordwaining. Many items
will be for sale.
Period music and dance will be provided
both days. Performers include Great River Fife and Drum Corps;
Tippecanoe Ancient Fife & Drum Corps; Colonial Fife & Drum Corps;
Traveler's Dream; La Guiannee Singers; The Peacocks; Booneslick
Strings; and the 42nd Highlanders Band of Pipes, Fifes & Drums.
"Theophratus von Gerlach, Doctor of
Physick, Surgeon and Apothecary" will return this year to present
talks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m. inside the fort.
The doctor is portrayed by Steven Gerlach, who will discuss the
state and theory of 18th-century medicine and the medical treatment
of children at the time. He will demonstrate the use of the major
medical tools from the 1700s, including detailed descriptions of
bloodletting and boring through the skull. The doctor will also
demonstrate the apothecary's skill in distilling the essences of
herbs for medicines.
A three-day bow building class will be
taught by Bob Linksvayer Friday through Sunday, June 4-6. Students
using period hand tools will be taught how to design and build an
Eastern-style Woodland flat bow based on the individual body
measurements of each student. Students will also be taught how to
make a Flemish single-loop bowstring of natural material and how to
decorate and finish their bows. The public is invited to watch the
class in action and ask questions or visit the 18th-century archery
shop with displays of bows, arrows and tools. The class and shop
will be located along the east wall of the fort, just north of the
Re-enactors will portray a 1700s French
patron, or river trader, in the fort's storage loft; and French
Marines in the Officer's Quarters and the Guard Room. Marines will
also be stationed at the fort's gate to welcome visitors and guard
the fort much as they did in the 1750s. Dan Hechenberger will
portray a French Jesuit priest in the Fort de Chartres Chapel.
Madeleines, an 18th-century French
cookie, will be baked in the fort's beehive oven by members of the
Randolph County Historical Society.
Rendezvous isn't all buckskin and
muskets. "Fads and Fancies," an 18th-century fashion show hosted by
Ted Mueller, returns at 1 p.m. both days on the stage. Ladies and
gentlemen will model garments from the 1700s, from the simple to the
fancy and from the practical to the outrageous.
An 18th-century agricultural area
behind the fort's bake oven will feature a working yoke of oxen.
Interpreters will show visitors the French kitchen garden, garden
shed and French chickens.
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The River Gate Food
Court will feature a variety of period food, drink and musical
entertainment under a large tent. A period dance for participants
and visitors will be from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday inside the fort.
The Historic Creole
House in Prairie du Rocher will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both
days for tours. Sponsored by the Randolph County Historical Society,
the tours feature an updated history of the house, including oil
paintings of the Henri family from the 1850s. Admission is free, but
donations are welcome.
Those who use the
special event parking area near Fort de Chartres will be charged $5
per car and $10 per bus. There will be no modern camping facilities.
Genevieve-Modoc ferry will operate throughout Rendezvous weekend.
The ferry will run between Ste. Genevieve, Mo., and the Illinois
side of the river from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, June 4; from 6 a.m.
to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 5; and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, June
6. Fees are $7 per car or pickup truck ($12 round trip) or $12 if
towing a trailer. The charge is $25 for school or tour buses.
Chartres State Historic Site, administered by the
Preservation Agency, is located four miles west of Prairie du
Rocher and 37 miles south of Belleville. Take Route 3 to Route 155
and follow the signs.
Scheduled events both days
10 a.m. -- Opening ceremony and Posting
of Colours; W. Malcolm Duncan, drum major
10:30 a.m. -- French Marines of Fort de
Chartres, drilling (parade ground)
11 a.m. -- Booneslick Strings,
traditional music (stage)
11:30 a.m. -- Great River Fife and Drum
Noon -- Lewis & Clark Fife & Drum Corps
12:30 p.m. -- Traveler's Dream, French
colonial music (stage)
1 p.m. – "Fads & Fancies," 18th-century
fashion show (stage); Ted Mueller, commentator
1 p.m. -- The Campfollowers Band
(outside fort, near gate)
1:45 p.m. – "La Guiannee," traditional
French New Year's song (stage)
2 p.m. -- Tippecanoe Ancient Fife &
Drum Corps, Lafayette, Ind.
2:30 p.m. – 42nd Royal Highlanders Band
of Pipes, Fifes, & Drums
3 p.m. -- The Peacocks (behind museum)
3 p.m. -- The Campfollowers Band
3:30 p.m. -- Colonial Fife & Drum
4 p.m. -- Traveler's Dream, French
colonial music (stage)
4:30 p.m. -- Retreat ceremony
Both days: The Peacocks, the Booneslick
Strings ands the Campfollowers will perform period music at various
locations. The Primitive Lifeways area, southeast of the bake oven,
will feature archery demonstrations and competition. Be sure to
visit Theophratus von Gerlach, Doctor of Physick, Surgeon and
Apothecary, who will be giving talks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and
again from 2 to 4 p.m. inside the fort. Cannon firing demonstrations
occur on the hour.
Scheduled events on Saturday or Sunday
Saturday, June 5
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. -- Rifle aggregate
and smoothbore competition
8-10 p.m. -- A dance for event
participants and visitors, inside the fort
8 a.m. -- Mass at Fort de Chartres
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. -- Knife and hawk
Noon - 2
p.m. -- La Grande Cannon Fusillade (The Big Cannon Shootout)
Historic Preservation Agency