John Colter Day Scheduled for June 29

Colter Stone
The Colter Stone was discovered in 1933 in a Tetonia, Idaho field, and it may represent the only solid proof that John Colter spent time in and around the Tetons.

Photo from Grand Teton National Park files

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News Release Date: June 23, 2015

Contact: Public Affairs Officer, 307.739.3393

The annual John Colter Day will be held Monday, June 29, at Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park. Colter explored the vast Yellowstone country during the winter of 1807-08, and was likely the first European to ever travel the region. This marks the eighth year that Grand Teton has offered special presentations to highlight the life of John Colter and the mountain men of the 1800s.

John Colter Day Highlights include:

Colter Stone Display — June 26-July 6, 2015
This stone—on loan from the Teton Valley Historical Museum in Driggs, Idaho—is a piece of rhyolite lava carved in the shape of a human head and engraved with the name John Colter, and year 1808. Discovered in Tetonia, Idaho in 1933, the stone, if authentic, represents the only solid proof of the route followed by trapper and explorer John Colter. As a member of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition from 1804 to 1806, Colter was given an early discharge from the Corps of Discovery. He set out on his own from a fur traders' fort in the southern Montana territory and he traveled south to present-day Cody, Wyoming. On his return, he passed through an area that is now part of Yellowstone National Park. A section of his journey may have brought him through Jackson Hole, over Teton Pass, and along the western slope of the Tetons.

Presentations at Colter Bay Visitor Center — June 29, 2015
11 a.m. – The Story of the Colter Stone
Ranger Naturalist Dan Greenblatt will detail the legend and history of this fascinating artifact.

2:30 p.m. – John Colter: Mountain Man Superhero
Dr. Barbara Mueller, professor of anthropology at Casper College, will discuss the life of John Colter, widely considered to be the first mountain man of the American West.

5 p.m. – The Story of Sacagewea
Local author, historian and storyteller, Ken Thomasma, will talk about Sacagewea, a Shoshoni woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition across the western United States from 1804-1806.

7 p.m. – Mountain Man of Jackson Hole
Ranger Andrew Langford will re-create the rugged life of a mountain man, enduring brutal winters and physical dangers in the unmapped West during the 1800s.

9 p.m. – Adventures of John Colter, Mountain Man
Dr. Barbara Mueller, professor of anthropology, will discuss the adventures of John Colter.

For more information about the Colter Day events, please call the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 739.3594.

Last updated: June 24, 2015

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