Contact Us

If you would like to know more information about any of the projects or information on this website please feel free to contact us via email.  In addition, if you know of any Chinese sites or historical references regarding Chinese in Montana, please direct your queries to Chris Merritt or Dr. Kelly Dixon.

Chris Merritt, Ph.D.

chirs merrittUniversity of Montana

Biography: Received his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Montana in 2004, and his Master’s of Science degree in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University in 2006.  Merritt completed a Ph.D. in Cultural Heritage Studies from the University of Montana’s Anthropology department, specifically focusing on the Chinese heritage of Montana.  Work experience ranges from the United States Forest Service in Utah and Nevada as an archaeological technician during 2004 and 2005, to being the current Website Editor for the Society for Historical Archaeology. Merritt has a deep interest in the archaeology of the historic period of North America, with specific emphasis on the landscape of the American West from the mid-19th Century until today. Email:

Dr. Kelly J. Dixon, Professor

kelly dixon in the fieldUniversity of Montana

Biography:  Dr. Dixon received her Ph.D. from the University of Nevada-Reno, and has been teaching at the University of Montana as an Assistant Professor since the fall of 2003.  Her dissertation focused on the analysis of archaeological collections and documentary resources from a series of saloons in Virginia City, Nevada dating to the mid-19th century.  Currently, Dr. Dixon is working on a couple of books focused on her collaborative work on the Donner Party Site located outside Truckee, California. Her research interests are on the under documented people of the American West, including African-Americans and the Chinese. Email:

C. Milo McLeod

c mila mcleod in the fieldRetired Lolo National Forest Archaeologist

Biography:  Milo was the Forest Archaeologist on the Lolo since the early 1980s.  He received his Master’s degree from the University of Montana, with a thesis focused on the Lolo Trail.  McLeod started out with the Forest Service in the mid 1970s, and was on the original discovery team of the mysterious terraced gardens.  McLeod has a long history of protecting, restoring, and interpreting cultural resources in Western Montana and has traveled the globe pursuing interesting archeological opportunities.  Email:

Bill Norman, Master's Student

bill normanUniversity of Montana

Biography: Bill has a long history with the Chinese in Montana, including living on the site of an old laundry in downtown Missoula. He has also been a student on the Big Timber Field School, and assisted on several of the Passport In Time projects headed by Chris Merritt and Milo McLeod. In 2009, Bill was admitted to the Master's Program at the University of Montana to complete a thesis on the reanalysis of the German Gulch Chinese assemblage excavated in the 1980s and early 1990s. In spring 2010, Bill and Chris worked together to reanalyze the entire collection from the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and is currently writing his thesis. Part of Bill's research was to create a public-oriented website on the German Gulch Chinese.