Thanks for joining us July 18-19 and July 25-26!

Archaeology at the Agency

Come dig with us!

We're in hot pursuit of the hottest place on the hillside: the Agency blacksmith shop. This year, participants rolled up their sleeves and dug with us into our site's buried history! Next year may be your opportunity to get dirty, learn a lot, and make great memories. Try your hand at a variety of tasks from digging to screening and more. Children ages 5 and up are welcomed to join in the fun with the direct supervision of a responsible adult.

More to explore

Blacksmithing Demonstrations

Live blacksmithing demonstrations allowed visitors to explore the history and techniques of blacksmithing as we endeavored to locate the 1830s Agency blacksmith shop!

Archaeology kids' camp

Learn hands-on what it takes to be an archaeologist at our virtual camp!

Sponsored by:

Special archaeology exhibit

Have fun analyzing scenarios that come up in the everyday work of those who study the past through scientific excavation. This exhibit will be held over for our 2021 season.

Summer speaker series

Talks covered a variety of topics related to archaeology and blacksmithing. The Oshkosh Municipal TV station aired the speaker series and provided the video links for us below.

Co-sponsored by:


Media coverage

Dig sponsored by:

Special exhibit sponsored by:

Attorney Doug Kammer

Portage, WI

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Why archaeology?

Written records, alone, cannot answer some important questions about how John Kinzie's Indian Agency worked.  Our main inquiry this season is how the Agency blacksmith functioned. A smith was established here in 1830 to serve the Ho-Chunk tribe. Evidence in the ground may reveal some answers.

Dig 2020 videos


Blacksmith history

Learn the basics about frontier blacksmithing, or dig even deeper into a published paper on Indian agency blacksmiths of the American frontier.

Archaeology at the Agency 2020

Photos from 2020:

The Historic Indian Agency House

1490 Agency House Road, Portage, WI 53901


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© 2020 Historic Indian Agency House. All rights reserved.