Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project 

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! 

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 

2019 Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Summer Day Camps: 
Click on the camp to download registration packet 
July 15- 19 : Middle School (entering grades 6-8) 
July 22-26: High School (entering grades 9-12) 
July 29- August 2: Lifelong Learners and Educators (ask about receiving graduate credit) 

FSJ artifact

T-Shirt Design Competition

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Lecture Series:  

During field season the public is invited to engage in several interactive and educational programs, focusing on the theme for the year Curation: Preserving the Past for the Future

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

Wednesday, July 10: "The Fort St. Joseph Curatorial Fellowship," presented by Erika Hartley,  Fort St. Joseph Curatorial Fellow, Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project 

Wednesday, July 17: "Conservation, Curation and Collections Management," presented by Kelly Rectenwald, Associate Objects Conservator, Cincinnati Art Museum

Wednesday, July 24: "Preserving the Past at Fort Michilimackinac," presented by Lynn Evans, Curator of Archaeology, Mackinac State Historic Parks 

Wednesday, July 31: "Curation Lessons Learned from Four Decades at the Illinois State Museum," presented by Terry Martin, Curator Emeritus of Anthropology, Illinois State Museum 

Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Project Annual Open House : August 3 -4, 2019
The  Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project  hosts an annual Open House towards the end of the field season!

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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

2018 Fort St. Joseph Anuual Report 

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