Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project 

Click here to view the 2017 Fort St. Joseph Annual Report . 

Fort St. Joseph was a mission, garrison and international trading post occupied from 1691 to 1781 by the French and the British. The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project began in 2002 and unearths more information every year! 

FSJ Open House

There are several ways you can be a part of the Project:

Summer Camps:



WMU and the City of Niles are excited to offer several summer day camp programs for youth and lifelong learners, alike! These day camps provide an opportunity for the public to engage in history and search for evidence at the Fort St. Joseph archaeology site. 

Led by WMU’s Education Instructor Tim Bober, participants spend a week discovering the extensive history of FSJ and participating in onsite excavation with opportunities to wet screen, map, and analyze recovered artifacts.                     
An approved continuing education program, the FSJ Lifelong Learner Camps are able to offer applicable students three (3) WMU Graduate credits, nine (9) State Board Continuing Education Units (Michigan), credits for recertification (Illinois), and/or credits applicable toward the Professional Growth Plan (Indiana). 

Cost: $150 per person 
Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm,  Monday-Friday 

2018 Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Summer Day Camps: 
July 16-20: Middle School (Grades 6-8) - Camp is full! Please ask about other options for attending the 2018 Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Summer Camp Program. 

July 23-27: High School (Grades 9-12)

July 30-August 3: Lifelong Learners and Educators

FSJ artifact


Lecture Series:  
During field season the public is invited to engage in several interactive and educational programs, focusing on the theme for the year. 

Lectures begin at 7:00pm at the Niles District Library (620 E. Main Street). 

July 11Explaining the 'Boom' in Copper Studies: How New Technologies Help Us to Understand Old Ones  by Kathleen L. Ehrhardt, Research Associate, Illinois State Museum, Springfield, Illinois

July 18Cross Cultural Technologies of the Great Lakes Region during the Fur Trade Era by Larry Horrigan, Reenactor and expert in firearms of New France and the Fur Trade 

July 25 - Crafting Culture at Fort St. Joseph: The Technology of Tinkling Cone Production by Brock Giordano, Archaeologist, Environmental and Historic Preservation, Region II, NYC, EHP Supervisor, NY Hurricane Sandy (DR-4085). 

August 1Telling Time with Technology: Glass Trade Beads of Fort St. Joseph by Dr. Heather Walder, Professor of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University

Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Project Annual Open House - August 4 and August 5, 2018 
The  Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project  hosts an annual Open House towards the end of the field season. The 2018 Open House will be held Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5. 

river

People of all ages are invited to attend  and: 
- Meet WMU archaeologists working at the Fort St. Joseph archaeological site 
- Observe period demonstrations at the Living History Village 
- Explore the active Fort St. Joseph archaeological site 
- Participate in children's activities and crafts
- View recently uncovered artifacts 
- Listen to period music and participate in period dance

Follow the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project Blog

The Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Project is a collaboration between the City of Niles, Western Michigan University, Support the Fort, Inc. and other community  groups.

FSJ Project

Western Michigan University and Fort St. Joseph
WMU archaeologists are working to unlock the secrets of this long lost, but not forgotten, frontier outpost of New France.  Our efforts are conducted in partnership with the City of Niles, the Fort St. Joseph Museum, Support the Fort, Inc., and other community groups.  We look forward to seeing you in the field or at a future public venue. 

FSJ Camp

Michael Nassaney, Ph.D
Principal Investigator, Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Program
Professor, Department of Anthropology
Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University's Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Program