Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Kalamazoo Living History Show

            This past weekend two independent study students and the Project’s intern joined Support the Fort at the Kalamazoo Living History Show. This living history show gives the opportunity for more than 270 vendors of pre-1890's goods and crafts to showcase and sell their products. Among them more than 10,000 members of the general public, historical re-enactors, enthusiasts, and collectors all attended this event. The goods being sold attract a group of people who are interested in pre-1890's history. This, of course, includes Fort St. Josep. With that being said, this weekend was a great opportunity to promote Support the Fort, Inc. and the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project (FSJAP).
John Cardinal and Austin George at the Support the Fort Table
            Support the Fort had multiple informational booklets and books about Fort St. Joseph, the French, and the history of the fur trade for sale. The FSJAP brought along fliers about this summer's Open House (August 6-7), pamphlets about our various summer camps, and a showcase filled with exciting finds from the 2015 field season. These artifacts were especially interesting to young kids, many of whom are involved with historical re-enactment. I overheard a mother comparing our artifacts to the products why use when re-enacting.
            It was encouraging to see the number of individuals who were already familiar with the FSJAP, and who were happy to see us and Support the Fort throughout the weekend. For those individuals who were not familiar with Fort St. Joseph, it was a wonderful opportunity to see newly peaked interest. Many individuals express an interest in the Open House, our summer camps, and our multiple social media outlets. We look forward to more opportunities to reach out and engage with the public to teach and discuss Fort St.
Joseph and the work of both Support the Fort and the FSJAP.