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Ouiatenon on the Oubache: 1717-1791

Theme of 32nd Annual
Living History


March 17-18, 2007

Sponsored By


“We Bring History Alive!”

Annual event to attract interest from throughout Midwest

The most southern outpost of the province of Canada in New France, Fort Ouiatenon was the first European settlement in what is now the state of Indiana. Situated across the Wabash River from a large Native village, Ouiatenon played an important role in the struggle of the French, British, Americans, and Native tribes for control of the North American continent.

Historians: Larry Chowning, Rick Conwell, and Mary Moyars-Johnson will present the following programs Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18, 2007, to focus on Fort Ouiatenon’s vital importance as a center of trade and maneuvering point for empire.


. “Ouiatenon- Pieces of the Puzzle”

10:30 - Room B
Mary Moyars-Johnson


“Interpretations of an Archaeological Field Season at Ouiatenon”

12:30 - Room B
Larry Chowning


“Life’s Left Behinds- Archaeological Evidence of the Material Culture of Ouiatenon”

2:30 - Room B
Rick Conwell


Ouiatenon Artifacts

Room C

Fort Ouiatenon was established in 1717 to offer trade and protection to the large Native population living along the Wabash River, and to insulate them from the influence of the British. While many similarities exist between Fort Ouiatenon and such contemporary posts as Michilimackinac and St. Joseph, Ouiatenon’s material culture is more distinctively French, and is regarded by some as the purest of any French Colonial archaeological site in the United States. The artifacts give glimpses of life on the farthest reaches of the 18th Century frontier. Many resources were scarce. Iron articles in particular show evidence of much reworking, reuse and recycling. Yet, paradoxically, there is also evidence of gracious living. Styles of china, glassware, and jewelry, for instance, are the same as those available in Paris at the time. Trade and diplomacy were important activities at Ouiatenon, and evidence is everywhere of goods intended for trade or as gifts to the Natives. Glass beads, wampum, Jesuit rings, and trade silver are all well represented. The Tippecanoe County Historical Association, Lafayette, Indiana, is owner of the site of Ft. Ouiatenon and its archaeological collections, and each year produces the internationally renowned Feast of the Hunters’ Moon, the largest 18th Century living history event in the Midwest. The Association will host a large display of artifacts from the Ouiatenon collection in Room “C” of the Kalamazoo County Expo Center both days of the show.

Show Rooms

March 20-21, 2010
March 19-20, 2011
March 17-18, 2012

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