In honor of the upcoming holiday, I searched Albemarle County maps for roads named after the genus Meleagris, order_ Galliformes, _i.e. “Turkey.”
Road names are a great source of local history, often preserving family names, events, animal species (sometimes long since extinct, e.g. Buffalo Gap), and occasionally imaginative monikers (common in developments that select historically or romantically inspired names which lack authenticity). In my search for Benjamin Franklin’s “Noble bird,” I first located Turkey Sag Road and Creek (in Keswick). Does anyone know the origin of this name ? Next, I found Turkey Run Road in Stonypoint, also associated with a Creek. Nearby “Brock’s Mill Road” provides additional insight into the 19th Century neighborhood when, presumably, the Brock family ran a mill (most likely grain or lumber) along Priddy’s Creek.
Moving to Mechum’s River, we find the non-domestic variant, _M. gallopavo, at Wild Turkey Lane. But the most interesting setting was Turkey Ridge Road in the “Peacock Hill” neighborhood. Here we find an Acorn Lane, adjacent to the appropriately named “Shady Lane” and “Big Oak Road.” Down the road we find other fowl species at “Peacock Drive” and “Heron Lane,” with a partial bird at “Gooseneck Lane.” The edge of the neighborhood contains “Apple Lane” and the inexplicable “Zump Lane.” Itemize the road names near your house and see if you come up with a scene from the past, real or imagined.