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Highlights Archives

Fort Blue Mounds Book Presentation

A conceptual sketch of Fort Blue Mounds by Mark Heinrich

Bring your lunch and join author and archaeologist Robert Birmingham for a "History Sandwiched In" brown-bag lunch lecture on January 15 at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Birmingham will describe his efforts to unearth the site and story of Fort Blue Mounds in southwestern Wisconsin, which played a major role not only in U.S. military and militia operations but also in the lives of the white settlers who sought refuge there during the Black Hawk War of 1832. (See Mark Heinrich's conceptualization of the fort above.)

Rediscovering Fort Blue Mounds

Plate shards discovered in an archaeological dig at the site of Fort Blue Mounds
Plate shards discovered in an archaeological
dig at the site of Fort Blue Mounds

Birmingham will also discuss the site he found decades later when he and fellow Wisconsin Historical Society archaeologists and dedicated volunteers began their search for the fort. The artifacts (like shards from plates pictured here) they unearthed provide fascinating — and sometimes surprising — insights into the life, material culture and even the food of the frontier. Birmingham will sign copies of his Wisconsin Historical Society Press book, 'Life, Death, and Archaeology of Fort Blue Mounds: A Settlers' Fortification in the Black Hawk War,' following the program.

About the Author

Robert Birmingham served for many years as Wisconsin state archaeologist at the Wisconsin Historical Society. He now teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Waukesha and writes from his home in Madison. He is the recipient of the 2005 Merit Award for history from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association for 'Aztalan: Mysteries of an Ancient Indian Town,' written with Lynne G. Goldstein; the Increase A. Lapham Medal from the Wisconsin Archeological Society; and a 2007 Wisconsin State Park Hero Award for his work promoting Aztalan State Park.

:: Posted January 10, 2013

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