Fur Trapper Friday!

Yay!  It’s Fur Trapper Friday!!  Whoop, whoop! 

Oh??  You don’t know anything about this?!?  It always comes on the Friday AFTER Ground Hog day.  Well…here in Colorado at least. 

I grew up in New Jersey, so while I can tell you that Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr dueled to the death in Weehawken, I can’t really tell you too much about Colorado’s great tradition of fur trapping and trading.  Other than what I learned as a New Jersey youth while watching that sweeping miniseries in the late 70’s about fur trapping and trading – entitled Centennial, based on the book of the same name by James Michener. 

This is what I learned:  Stephanie Zimbalist dies in a tent after being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Ta-da!!!  That’s it.  That’s all I know about fur trapping and trading.

Ok, that’s a lie.  I also know that Stephanie Zimbalist went on to star in Remington Steele opposite Pierce Brosnan in the early 80’s, so we don’t need to worry too much about that tent scene.  80’s girl dun good, reeeeeeal good ifyouknowwhadimean.  nudge, nudge, wink, wink

And?  Still lying.  I also know that the miniseries was amazingly confusing and had waaaay too many characters (kinda like Game of Thrones but Fur Trapper version), some bad French accents and a good part of it was set in Colorado.  So that’s gotta tell us something about how important fur trapping and trading is to Colorado. 

In fact, the youth of Colorado are schooled in the importance of this early industry and spend a whole trimester studying fur trapping and trading.  Who knew?  Not me.  But in honor of Fur Trapper Friday, let’s see if YOU are smarter than a 4th grader in this particular subject…

Directions: Match each vocabulary word with the correct definition.  There will be two definitions that do not have a match.  Put those letters on line #14 & #15, then write the correct vocabulary words on the lines next to them.

____1. Bent’s Fort                          A. helped build Fort Vasquez

____2. Fort Vasquez                      B. the skin or pelt of an animal

____3. William Bent                       C. fur trapper, army scout, and guide for Fremont

____4. Andrew Sublette                D. French word meaning “hiding place”

____5. Castoreum                          E. mountain man who lived with the Crow Indians

____6. Lancaster Lupton              F. some believe this man blew up his own fort

____7. Cache                                  G called the “Crossroads of the Southwest”

____8. Rendezvous                        H. another name for Fort Uncompahgre

____9. Jim Beckwourth                 I. Fort St. Vrain was first called this

____10. Kit Carson                          J. built in 1835 on the South Platte River

____11. Fort Lookout                    K. nickname for Fort Davy Crockett

____12. Fort Misery                       L. liquid that comes from the beaver and is used for bait

____13. Fort Robidoux                  M. name of the second fort built by William Bent

____14. ……………………..                 N. French word that means “place of meeting”

____15. ……………………..                 O. traded with the Indians for nine years and then began to plant crops

Answer Key: 1 G, 2 J, 3 F, 4 H, 5 L, 6 O, 7 D, 8 N, 9 E, 10 L, 11 I, 12 K, 13 H, 14 B undressed skin of an animal with fur still attached (nummy num num), 15 M Fort Wise

Thank you for playing.  Happy Fur Trapper Friday.  Ok, I lied about that too.  There’s no Fur Trapper Friday. 

PS – I don’t know if any of the answers are actually correct.  I assume they are since my 4th grader got 100% on this very same test with these very same answers.  But who knows?   Not me.  Have I mentioned I’m from New Jersey…where we WEAR furs, we don’t catch ‘em. 

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