Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Archaeology in the Community: Ryan Murdoch

Hi folks,

My name is Ryan and I am an undergraduate student in psychology at Western Michigan University. I am enrolled in Dr. Nassaney’s class “Anthropology in the Community”, and as Ann has already said, we are researching how rivers and waterways interact with and impact the community of Niles, especially as it relates to Fort Saint Joseph.

Niles Board and Paper Co. 1912
(Image pulled from: https://thekingbug.wordpress.com/category/st-joseph-river/page/2/ )
My research partner Alex and I have decided to focus our research industry on and around the St. Joseph River, possibly starting from the settlement of the fort and leading up into more modern times. We are interested in everything from the fur trade, and how the river was used as a means of transportation for industry, to factory life on the river.

            By the end of this project we hope to uncover which industries were most important to the community of Niles at various times in its history, and help readers of our panel to be able to quickly travel through time and understand the importance of these various businesses, and the river, to the local community. We will hopefully be involved with a local partner from the City of Niles, who will be able to generate a lot of information on the area’s various industries, and condense this information into a viewer friendly panel for the open house!

-Ryan Murdoch