WSW: Digging Into Fort St. Joseph's Past

Aug 2, 2019

Credit WMUK

What was life like in a colonial fort in southwest Michigan 300 years ago? Archaeologists from Western Michigan University are trying to find out. They and local volunteers have been digging at the site of Fort Saint Joseph in Niles since 2002.

The fort was built along the banks of the Saint Joseph River by traders and Catholic missionaries from France in the 1680’s. Soldiers and Native American tribes also lived at and near the fort before in was abandoned after about a century. Over the years, the fort's exact location became something of a mystery. But in the late 1990's, members of the group Support the Fort asked WMU to help find it. That they did in 1998, although not in the place where many Niles residents thought it was.

Listen to the podcast to learn more.