September 22, 2020

The Thunderbird Site

The Thunderbird Paleoindian Site is not open to the public. But for a few years in the late 1970s, there was a museum to explore. Archaeologists were working at the site and made headlines when they found artifacts dating back 10,000 years. This was the oldest human settlement found in the mid-Atlantic states at that time. 

Since then older artifacts have been found in other places, notably at Meadowcroft in Pennsylvania.
I was anxious to see Thunderbird so we took the kids there, which was south of Front Royal. The pictures I took then have faded and turned yellow, as did the pages of our "magnetic" photo album. (This was long before I learned about archival materials.) 

In 1977 the site was named a National Historic Landmark. However, it is in private hands and cannot be accessed by public roads. A hint of the location remains in a road named Thunderbird in Limeton.

I believe the site borders on present-day Shenandoah River State Park, which did not exist at that time. 

There is a short book about the site, "Lost Arrowheads and Broken Pottery but it is out of print. 


  1. ...recording the past is so important, but I often read that young people have little of no knowledge of this that happened before they were born. Thanks Linda for joining the party.

  2. Hello,
    I am glad you were able to visit the museum before it closed to the public. Pretty views of the river. Take care, enjoy your day!

  3. Sad that people can't visit the museum. I hadn't heard of this site, and love archeology, especially of indigenous people in America. Glad you have those old photos of your visit. I trucked my sons to various sites when they were young. One of them wondered how I came to be so interested in them. I guess growing up and visiting Cahokia near St. Louis might have influenced me.

  4. How cool that you could go there! Thanks for showing us this hidden treasure.

  5. A bit of a shame that the place is no longer accessible.

  6. Belas fotos, um tesouro guardado. bj

  7. I find that sort of thing fascinating!

  8. That was good that you could visit, many thanks for sharing these older photographs.

    All the best Jan


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