"They probably had camps like this in Waynesboro before the settlers really came in," said Richard Baughman of Chambersburg, Pa., who looked the part of a trapper with his long white hair, beard, wide-brimmed leather hat, buckskin pants and a necklace made of beads and small animal bones.
According to historical accounts, hunters, trappers and Indians, fur traders, early settlers and suppliers from an established settlement would meet in the spring and fall at a rendezvous point to trade their goods, said Ron McClure, a Fayetteville, Pa., retiree who portrayed a hunter.
Beaver pelts, rabbit fur, animal bones and hides, among other products from America, were often shipped to European markets where hats, clothing and jewelry were made, added Sam Cox of Waynesboro, who owns a black felt top hat made from a beaver pelt.
The trading camp scene was re-enacted Friday through Sunday as part of Waynesboro's bicentennial celebration by the group of local people who participate in rendezvous demonstrations throughout the country.
"I do it as a hobby and for fun. It's what I call the great escape," McClure said.
Whole families, professionals and people from "all walks of life" participate in the re-enactments where no modern conveniences are available, McClure said.
"We try to stick to the way of living of the early 1800s," Cox added.
As long as he's not working, Pat Ryan, of Waynesboro, said he tries to participate in several local rendezvous re-enactments where he sets up his woodworking trade.
"It's like having a family reunion but not being related," Ryan said.
Wearing a long, plain dark green dress of an early settler, Stephanie Hughes, 12, of Chambersburg, said she participates with her family for the learning experience.
"You get to see a lot of people who are interested in learning about history. It's just a lot of fun," she said.