Museum lecture series focuses on fur trade

Published 10:32 am Monday, February 29, 2016

Dr. Michael Nassaney will kick off the Spring Lecture Series at the Dowagiac Area History Museum at 6:30 p.m.  Wednesday, March 2, with “Archaeology of the North American Fur Trade.”

Dr. Nassaney is a Professor of Anthropology at Western Michigan University with research interest in the archaeology of eastern North America, focusing on colonialism, the fur trade, material analysis, public archaeology, and ethnohistory. His recent book, “The Archaeology of the North American Fur Trade” (University Press of Florida, 2015), summarizes the contributions that archaeology has made to our understanding of the fur trade.

While the program explores the fur trade throughout the continent, Nassaney will focus on the trade in Michigan and the local fur trade at Fort St. Joseph in Niles.

He is the principal investigator of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, an interdisciplinary program in community service learning that focuses on the 18th Century site of Fort St. Joseph. Each year, Nassaney leads a team of Archaeology students to Niles to find further evidence of the fort’s buildings along the St. Joseph River.

Future programs in the series will be “The 1893 Columbian Exposition” by Ruthmere volunteer and World’s Fair researcher Karen Nicholson on April 6; “Southwest Michigan Eats: Food and Culture of Southwest Michigan,” by Niles chef Daysha Amster on April 27; and “More Than Lures: The Heddons of Dowagiac,” by Don Lyons of the National Heddon Museum on
June 1.

The programs are free to museum members and cost $5 to non-members. Children under 18 years of age are also free. Membership will be available at the museum for those interested.

The museum is located at the corner of Division and West Railroad Streets. For more information, call the Dowagiac Area History Museum at (269) 783-2560 or visit