Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project 

Fort St. Joseph was a mission, garrison and international trading post occupied from 1691 to 1781. The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project is a partnership between Western Michigan University, the City of Niles, Support the Fort, Inc., and other community groups.  Interested? Join us at one of our public events during our field season!

Click here for a brief history of Fort St. Joseph

Summer Camps

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The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project is seeking enthusiastic participants to join Western Michigan University students in excavating and uncovering the history of Fort St. Joseph. 

Campers will learn about archaeology and the history of Fort St. Joseph at the Niles District Library. In addition, they will perform lab activities and excavate at the site alongside WMU archaeologists and students. 

Experienced Learners Camp runs Tuesday - Friday, 9am-3pm 

Students Entering Grades 6-12 and Lifelong Learners camps run Monday - Friday, 9am-3pm

2024 Camp Dates 

July 16-19: Experienced Learners (must have completed the summer camp program in the past 5 years) 

July 22-26: Students Entering Grades 6-12 - CAMP IS FULL! Please email or call 269-845-4054 to join the waitlist. 

July 29 - August 2: Lifelong Learners and Educators 

Camp applications 

For questions, or more information, please contact the Niles History Center at or 269-845-4054. Make sure to ask how educators can earn SCECHs.


FSJ artifact

Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Summer Lecture Series

Check back for information on upcoming lectures. 

Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Project Annual Open House

Date: August 3-4, 2024
Time: 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Near the corner of Fort and Bond Streets in Niles, Michigan.
Admission is free!
People of all ages are invited to step back in time at the Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Open House. Attendees can tour the archaeological site of Fort St. Joseph, view recently uncovered artifacts, visit with reenactors at the Living History Village and take a ride on the St. Joseph River in Sarett Nature Center’s reproduction 36’ birchbark canoe.


FSJ Project

For information about WMU, the Project or archaeology at Fort St. Joseph:

Erika K. Hartley
Instructor, Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies
Field Director and Curatorial Fellow, Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project
Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies