Saturdate at Sunwatch …with Tina the Turkey

It had been 20 years since we had last visited Sunwatch Indian Village & Archaeological Park in Dayton.

The layout is wonderful in that upon the approach you cannot see the 800-year-old Village before you walk out of the back of the interpretive center. Then, from an elevated view, you begin to see into the ancient culture of the Fort Ancient people. Marvel at the recreated structural designs that reveal apparent astronomical alignments from a complex of strategically placed posts. Closely examine inside and outside the five lath and daub structures with grass thatch roofs, and portions of a stockade.

Although insightful eye-opening tours are provided, we ventured into the wide-open space on our own. Along the way, a wild turkey named Tina befriended my wife and walked alongside her. When the nesting (atop a grass roof) geese (the male) flew a warning overhead, Tina sought her adopted human mother to shelter her from the bully of the Village. LOL. When we circled the grounds we had to make an impromptu detour as the Canada Goose swooped from the rooftop to cut us off at the pass and chase us into adrenaline-filled laughter and retreat.

It was a wonderful visit, just as we had remembered. There are so many interesting learning opportunities at this national historic landmark. The 3-acre village site produced an abundance of artifacts, including turkey eggshell fragments (maybe Tina was visiting her ancestors too ;). The interpretive center features many of these well-preserved relics that had been recovered from the site.

If you go, say hi to Tina. She’s a friendly unofficial tour guide.

To plan a visit, click here.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun