The Ottumwa Courier

August 7, 2013

Rendezvous a reminder of important era

ANDY GOODELL
Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Jim Walker has a passion for the way things were back in the 1840s.

Walker served as “booshway” for the Dog Hollow Rendezvous at Caldwell Park, just east of Oskaloosa this past weekend. A booshway is another word for “head man” or “leader.”

Although this is their sixth year at the park, Dog Hollow Rendezvous has been around for 21 years, said Walker. This weekend's event included a skillet toss, hawk and knife throw, bow shooting, rolling pin toss and more. Traditional crafts of all kinds could also be seen at their encampment.

Those participating in the Dog Hollow Rendezvous live in traditional housing known as lodges, according to Walker. They also ate food cooked on the campfire in the pioneer way, as well.

The Dog Hollow Rendezvous is very specific when it comes to the time period they portray. Walker said they focus on the years between 1840 to 1846 during an era of fur trading.

“The fur trader is a big part of American history, because that's when the travel to the west started,” said Walker, adding that it's important to preserve this era in American history. “We want to see if we can get families out here to enjoy nature — especially Caldwell Park.”

Those at the Dog Hollow Rendezvous got lucky when it came to the weather.

“It's beautiful,” said Walker. “Normally Dog Hollow is in the dog days of summer and it's hot. But, we've been blessed this weekend with beautiful weather.”