From the Archive: Turkey Time!

by Lesley Drayton, Curator, Local History Archive

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the folks at the Akin farm in Fort Collins, Colorado were giving thanks for turkey … but not for the reason you may think. Rather than sitting down to a delicious Thanksgiving meal featuring the bird as an entrée, the Akins were turning to turkeys as a means to control a grasshopper scourge that was devastating their crops. The Akin family donated a scrapbook to the Local History Archive that features several photos of the turkeys doing their job as they gobbled (ha!) up the grasshoppers. The turkey roosts had to be moved often to reach the places where grasshopper control was most needed.

Turkeys on the Akin farm

On to more turkeys! Here’s a photo from 1975 of John Dunlap with his prize-winning turkey “Burk the Turk,” grown as part of the Cowpunchers 4-H club in Laporte, Colorado.

Burk the Turk

Here’s another turkey, this one of the frozen variety, being weighed at a Fort Collins grocery store on November 18, 1966.

Weighing a turkey at a Fort Collins grocery store, 1966

Finally, check out these Thanksgiving postcards, circa 1909, from a postcard album created by Will Bentledge of Windsor, Colorado.

Thanksgiving postcard, circa 1909, created by Will Bentledge

Thanksgiving postcard, circa 1909, created by Will Bentledge

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