Document Type


Publication Date



The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project continued its multifaceted program of research, teaching, and public outreach focused on the study of the fur trade and colonialism in southwest Michigan, while involving the community in the process with the support of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Advisory Committee. Over the past year (September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012) Western Michigan University students and faculty, along with various stakeholders and community volunteers, collaborated to investigate the site of Fort St. Joseph and disseminate information to increasing numbers of people. Here are some of the year’s highlights.

  • The project was the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) to support our annual open house.
  • Our highly successful blog offered archaeologists the chance to share their experiences with more than 11,000 visitors from around the world (
  • The fourth annual summer lecture series was devoted to the theme of “The Military in Historical and Archaeological Perspective” through the generous support of the Joseph L. Peyser Endowment of the Study of New France, among others.
  • Niles Mayor Michael McCauslin, WMU Provost Timothy Greene, Dean Alex Enyedi, History Department Chair José António Brandão, and Michigan State Archaeologist Dean Anderson addressed the public at our annual media day.
  • Larry Simpson was named the winner of the second annual Volunteer of the Year Award for service to the Project.
  • Summer camps gave 27 students, teachers, and life-long learners the opportunity to experience archaeology firsthand.
  • The third annual issue of the Fort St. Joseph Post newsletter was distributed.
  • We obtained a new 5-year permit from the Department of Environmental Quality to continue excavations (2012-2017).
  • A film crew collected footage for a new DVD during the 2012 open house featuring “A Colonial Militia Muster on the Eve of Revolution.”
  • A new booklet on the fur trade was published with the support of the Michigan Humanities Council and has been distributed to over 280 schools, museums, and libraries throughout the state.