The 47th annual Fort Atkinson Rendezvous will be held Sept. 23-24, the last full weekend of September. Friday, Sept. 22, is set aside for visiting students with School Day. Schools from all over northeast Iowa are invited to come to learn the history of the fort and view artisans reenacting crafts and skills from the 1840s.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Fort is open to the public at no charge. This year the Rendezvous is featuring the South Barracks. The south enlisted men’s barracks was a two-story log structure which housed the men of I Company, 1st Dragoons, and K Company, 1st Infantry. The raised stone platforms in the center of the foundations helped to support wooden floors. This building was not only a barracks, but also a schoolroom for the officers’ children, and served as a church on Sundays. Some of the objects found in excavations provide clues to recreation at the Fort. Items found include clay pipes, bone dominoes and a jaw harp which soldiers used to pass the time. Children’s clay marbles and a fragment of slate and a slate pencil could have been used for school lessons.
Other activities for the Fort Atkinson Rendezvous weekend include a Chicken Dinner Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m., and a 5K Run/Walk Saturday starting at 7:30 a.m. Plan to visit the historic Fort Atkinson that weekend for a step back into history. Old-time contests, vendors, music, foods and entertainment are sure to share a glimpse into pioneer life at this unique historical location. For more information go to fortatkinsoniowa.com or Fort Atkinson Iowa Rendezvous on Facebook.