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SunWatch Indian Village

2301 W. River Rd.
Dayton  Ohio  45418
United States
(937) 268-8199
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Midwest Living Review

Amber Matheson
Small but earnest, this historical site offers a quick trip way back in time.

Under a hot summer sun and cloudless blue sky, the re-created SunWatch Indian Village looks and feels awfully similar to what it must have been like 800 years ago—minus the Indians. While many historical reenactment sites focus on the first settlers in America, this one dials back to a time that feels truly ancient. The grounds reflect the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, from a grass-roofed hut, empty except for benches made of strong sticks, to burial slabs marking the ring of sacred space circling the village.

Four completed buildings highlight the grounds; plaques tell the story of the Native Americans who once called this area of Ohio home. A garden just outside the fence provides a glimpse into the original American Indian diet, featuring the three sisters of corn, beans and squash. Inside SunWatch's main building, visitors can see how vegetables were preserved underground during winter. The village and small indoor museum tell part of the story of the area's forefathers, but the archaeological park really comes alive each June at the annual Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow and the annual Flute and Art Festival held in August.

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