Looking through some of our archives we came across a book that once belonged to local P.W Jenkins, who petitioned for Pinedale to be part of a new county, and now has a large collection of his items in the museum.
This book, entitled, LaBonte was a review of the original peice by George Frederick Ruxton published in 1848. It was dedicated to the Wyoming Pioneers and L.C. Bishop, president of the Wyoming pioneer association reprinted it in 1950. Ruxton actually interviewed the french trapper Labonte, and wrote of some of his adventurous experiences. We wanted to share one with you…
“One day LaBonte left camp for a last buffalo hunt in the mountains, preparatory to a trip to the North Fork (of the Platte) to trade his skins. Upon his return after 3 days he found his lodge burned and squaws and peltries gone. Since he was weary from his long hunt and saddened by his loss, he started a fire, and with rifle across his lap and a buffalo robe wrapped around his body, was soon asleep. During the night his squaw, Chil-co-the, who had escaped from her Arapaho captors, returned rebuilt the campfire and when morning came was seated by the fire opposite LaBonte.
With Cil-co-the on his buffalo horse and with his possessions packed on the mule, he shouldered his rifle and took the trail for the North Platte. On Horse Creek he came upon a party of french hunters and trapper encamped with their Indian wives. Several old companions were among them and in celebration of Labonte’s arrival a, a dog feast was made the order of the day. Six dogs were killed and a coyote and a wolf were added…In asking Labonte stated ‘It must be confessed that dog meat takes a high rank in the wonderful variety of cuisine afforded to the gourmand and the gourmet by the prolific mountains'”