Ralph Naveaux has earned degrees in history and institutional administration from Michigan State University, and in French from Eastern Michigan University. He is also a graduate of the Seminar in Historic Administration at Historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and the Michigan Police Reserve Training Council Basic Law Enforcement Course at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan.
From 1975 to 1990, he was employed as a teacher of history and French in the Monroe Public School System. In 1990, Mr. Naveaux was hired as Assistant Director at the Monroe County Historical Museum, retiring as Director in January of 2007.
For 20 years, he served as co-chair of the Old French Town Days festival in Monroe, and then as chairman of Monroe’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Steering Committee. Previous publications include Escape to Frenchtown, co-authored with Rachel Wilke, Women on the Raisin, co-authored with Mary Ellen VanWasshenova, The Floral City, co-authored with Shana Gruber, and The Old River Raisin Battlefield Driving Tour.
Of French and German ancestry, the author can trace his family line to an actual participant in the events of which he writes. That would be Joseph Neveu dit Francoeur, who served in Mack’s artillery company of the Michigan Legionary Corps in 1812. As in many of the old French families of southeastern Michigan, there may also be a Native American ancestor hiding somewhere in plain sight.