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Fort St. Joseph

Fort St. Joseph was founded in 1691 by French Jesuits, near present-day Niles, Michigan. The fort served as an important location for the fur trade, as the St. Joseph river, the Old Sauk Trail, and two other major trade trails convened there. The French, Spanish, Iroquois, and British all occupied or had captured the fort across its history of activity, but Fort St. Joseph was eventually abandoned by the British in 1781, and was overgrown by forest.

Fort St. Joseph was not forgotten by local communities, as multiple commemorations and artifacts have evidenced, but the exact location of the fort was not known until Archaeologists from Western Michigan University conducted field surveys and pinpointed its location in 1998.