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The site of 21MO20 first came to Birk’s attention in 1972 via a Little Falls resident who recalled finding artifacts in an uncultivated corner of his uncle’s farm field in 1965. In 1978 Birk examined these artifacts and discovered that they contained 18th century ceramics. Research revealed a candidate for the site's identity: Fort Duquesne, build in the winter of 1752-1753 by voyageur Joseph Marin. Birk realized the potential of the site and conducted a quick survey in 1980 but had to wait until the newly-formed IMA could sponsor an initial dig in 1982. Further excavations in 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1988 produced many artifacts and structural details, but no definitive evidence of the site's identity. The site was added to the NRHP in 1984 and remained a centerpiece of the IMA's outreach activities throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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Birk took an interest in the French presence in Minnesota early in his career, stemming from early projects for the MHS including testing at the site of Fort Saint Charles in 1974. As early as 1982, probably inspired by the discovery of 21MO20, Birk began considering a "major study" of French activities in the region that would synthesize archaeological investigations at various fort sites with the written historical record. Birk gathered material for this study throughout the 1980s and 1990s and published multiple articles and studies of limited scope with the intent of incorporating them as eventual book chapters in the larger study. By the late 1990s this planned study had the working title "The History and Archaeology of the French Regime in Minnesota." Birk seems to have worked on this project only sporadically following the collapse of the IMA and no extensive draft of the final manuscript is known.

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In 1973 Birk began researching the fur trading fort along the Snake River long identified as "Connor's Post" after local fur trader Thomas Connor. Birk's research disproved that Connor, who was illiterate, could have authored the journal that described the construction of the fort, indicating instead the British North West Company trader John Sayer as author. In 1976 the MHS updated the site's name to the North West Company Post in recognition of this fact. Birk's research culminated in a nearly 500-page report on "the history, ecology, and archaeology" of the fort site published in 1980, by far his most ambitious publication to that date.

In 1989 Birk published a re-edited transcription of Sayer's 1804-05 journal, part of a series of regional history publications for the Cross Lake Association. He returned to Sayer again for his Master's thesis, completed in 1999, which incorporated much material from his 1980 publication. In 2004 Birk published a short treatment of the same material called "The Messrs. Buid Comodiously," written for a popular audience. Birk turned to Sayer once again in 2014 for an improved and expanded version of his thesis to be published as "Life at Sayer's Fort," a manuscript left finished but unpublished at the time of his death.

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In 1985 Birk surveyed the site of an 1839 Methodist-Episcopal mission within the Little Elk Heritage Preserve, beginning an interest in Minnesota's nineteenth-century Protestant missions that lasted the rest of his career. In 1988 Birk, representing the IMA, collaborated with the Cross Lake Association (CLA) of Pine County to edit and publish three sets of historical documents: John Sayer’s Snake River Diary, a set of correspondence regarding the historic community of Chengwatana, and the records of the Pokegama Mission in the Snake River Valley. The first publication came out on schedule in 1989, but the project hit a snag the following year when the CLA pulled out, leaving the IMA to complete the work mandated by the project grant alone. Birk produced the second publication in 1992 as “Purveyors of Salvation: The Pokegama Mission and the Protestant Mission Movement among the Southwestern Ojibwe.”

Birk, however, immediately began working on an expanded version of the same work that was nearly published in 1997 before being dropped for unknown reasons. Birk seems to have returned to the project in 2009, but died before the final manuscript could be published.

St. Cloud State University
Instelling · 1869-2023+

St. Cloud State University was established by the state of Minnesota in 1869 as the Third State Normal School.

Instelling · ? - 2011

Learning Resources and Technology Services was a single entity under the leadership of a single dean until July 2011. It then split into two separate units - Learning Resources Services (LRS), which is the library, and Information Technology Services (ITS). ITS is headed by a Chief Information Officer.

Faculty Wives and Women

Faculty Wives and Women organization was formed in 1947 by Mrs. D. S. Brainard, wife of the St. Cloud State president Dudley Brainard, and three other faculty wives, Mrs. C.E. Daggett, Mrs. P.G. Rawland, and Mrs. J.E. Talbot. The organization was originally called the Faculty Wives Club but changed their names at a later date to include unmarried female faculty. The organization is mainly a social group designed to create community within the female members and spouses of the St. Cloud campus faculty. The club is currently still active as of 2022.

Minnesota Academy of Science

The David Frank Grether Central Minnesota Regional Science Fair was an annual event hosted by St. Cloud State University. Middle and high school students from an assortment of central Minnesotan schools presented demonstrations and papers pertaining to a scientific study of their choice. This event originated in 1951 (under the name of “The Science Congress”) and was sponsored by today’s Minnesota Academy of Science. The competition was originally envisioned as a program to help jump-start the professional careers of high school students with an interest in science, especially with the Cold War raging and the launch of the Sputnik satellite had firmly gripped public.

Over time, the program expanded in size and scope, incorporating projects from junior high school students in grades 6-8, in addition to offering prizes and scholarships for projects deemed exceptional by a panel of judges. The last event of this kind was held in 2019 and discontinued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the fair’s former sponsor, the Minnesota Academy of Science, continues to host similar programs at the regional and statewide level to this day, such as the annual Minnesota State Science Fair held annually in St. Paul.

David Frank Grether was a former faculty member in the Department of Biology at St. Cloud State University. Throughout his time at the university, he served as one of the key organizers of the Central Minnesota Regional Science Fair, which was renamed in his honor to mark the event’s fiftieth anniversary.

University Library
Instelling · ca. 2013-present

Learning Resources and Technology Services was a single entity under the leadership of a single dean until July 2011. It then split into two separate units - Learning Resources Services (LRS), which is the library, and Information Technology Services (ITS). ITS is headed by a Chief Information Officer.

The name of Learning Resources Services later changed their name to University Library.