‘Turkeyville U.S.A.’ prepares for Thanksgiving feast

MARHSALL, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and maybe you’ve already started preparing your turkey for Thursday’s feast.

Imagine preparing more than 100 turkeys to feed more than 1,000 people. Turkeyville U.S.A. does just that.

Patti Cornwell is a third-generation turkey lover.

“We eat turkey every day,” said Cornwell.  “It doesn’t have to be on Thanksgiving.”

Cornwell’s husband’s grandfather started the turkey farm in the early 1940s thanks to some bad luck and a friendly neighbor.

“Grandpa Cornwell, when he started it, him and his wife Marjorie, raised cows,” said Cornwell. “Their cows got sick one year, so a neighbor gave them 12 turkeys, and in 1943, that’s how they started turkey farming.”

Those 12 turkeys? Well, they multiplied, just like the Cornwell family.

In 1968, they opened a one-room eatery known as the Turkey House. But believe it or not, they weren’t open for Thanksgiving until eight years ago.

“Before that, Grandpa always believed that we should give thanks with our family,” said Cornwell. “We do still give thanks with our family, we just do it while we’re working.”

Cornwell says her staff will get to work about 4 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, cooking about 100 turkeys to serve more than 1,100 people.  Another 100 fresh turkeys will be sold to go.

“It will be crazy,” Cornwell said.

Some would say Turkeyville has earned its name.

Turkeyville will be serving Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.