Dr. Amy Rosebrough is a Staff Archaeologist with the Office of the State Archaeologist at the Wisconsin Historical Society. A native of the Missouri Ozarks, she has long had an interest in burial monuments and archaeology. She is an alumni of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she received her doctorate for region-wide re-analysis of Wisconsin's effigy mounds and mound builders. She has worked as an archaeologist in the academic, private, and public sectors. In her current position at the Wisconsin Historical Society, she manages archaeological and burial sites data, assists Wisconsin's citizens with archaeological questions, and serves as a subject matter expert. She spends her spare time volunteering as a heritage garden caretaker, quilting, baking, and editing archaeological manuscripts.
In the mid to late 19th centuries, dozens of bridge piers were built along the eastern shores of Wisconsin. The piers and the lumbering and packet fleets that serviced them withstood fire and ice and storms both real and economic to form the hearts of small, short-lived port communities. A Wisconsin Historical Society initiative is currently exploring the submerged and onshore remains of these lost ports, and tracing the histories of the ships that visited them and called them home. In the process, a forgotten chapter of Great Lakes history is coming to light; small and private ports and the fleet that served them were crucial elements in the transformation of Lake Michigan’s shoreline from timberland to farms and cities.