WMU researchers showcase Fort St. Joseph at open house

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—In August, Western Michigan University archaeologists will offer the public a look at progress on the Fort St. Joseph archaeological dig in Niles, a sample of some of this summer's findings and a glimpse into the18th century lives of Native Americans and European settlers.

"Flowing Back Through Time: Rivers in Historical and Archaeological Perspective" is the theme of a two-day open house at the site scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6-7. The free public events will take place at the dig site, located in Niles' South Riverfront Park at the corner of Bond and Fort streets.

Faculty and students from WMU's Archaeological Field School will show off the site and recently uncovered artifacts. Visitors of all ages will observe period demonstrations at the Living History Village, listen to period music, participate in period dance and children’s activities and crafts.

About Fort. St. Joseph

The Fort St. Joseph mission, garrison and trading post complex was occupied from 1691 to 1781 along the St. Joseph River in what is now the city of Niles. Built by the French, the fort was at times during its 90-year history, controlled by the British and the Spanish. Since 1998, WMU faculty researchers and students have been working to identify, investigate and interpret the physical remains of the fort, one of the most important Colonial outposts in the western Great Lakes.

About the field school

WMU conducts its annual archaeological field school at the site in partnership with the city of Niles, the Fort St. Joseph Museum and Support the Fort, a nonprofit organization focused on preserving the fort's history. The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project also sponsors a public education and outreach program. Field school students help instruct and work alongside adult, teacher, and high school student participants in week-long archaeology summer camps. For more information, visit wmich.edu/fortstjoseph.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.