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Trial postponed in the financial dispute over a Newark country club near ancient earthworks

An American Indian earthwork curves around a field.
Ohio History Connection
The Octagon Earthworks in Newark has eight walls, each measuring about 550 feet long and from five to six feet in height, and are joined by parallel walls to a circular embankment. The site is currently home to Mound Builders Country Club golf course.

A trial to determine how much Ohio's historical society must pay to restore public access to a set of ancient ceremonial earthworks that has been leased for over a century to a country club has been rescheduled for July 15.

The 2,000-year-old Octagon Earthworks near Newark in central Ohio are part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks network named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in September. Native Americans constructed the earthworks, including eight long earthen walls, that correspond to lunar movements.

A proceeding in Licking County Common Pleas Court, originally slated to begin Tuesday, will determine the value of the long-term lease on the land held by Moundbuilders Country Club, where golfers play alongside the mounds. Judge David Branstool reset the date Tuesday.

It's the Ohio History Connection's last step to gaining control of all eight of the ancient areas included in the World Heritage Site, which stretch across central and southeastern Ohio. The group has called them “part cathedral, part cemetery and part astronomical observatory.”

Ohio History Connection won an Ohio Supreme Court decision allowing it to reclaim the lease, but trial delays ensued as the country club challenged the price-setting process.

The historical society has put the value of the site at about $2 million, while the country club is seeking a much higher price.

A trial to determine how much Ohio's historical society must pay to restore public access to a set of ancient ceremonial earthworks that has been leased for over a century to a country club has been rescheduled for July 15.

The 2,000-year-old Octagon Earthworks near Newark in central Ohio are part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks network named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in September. Native Americans constructed the earthworks, including eight long earthen walls, that correspond to lunar movements.

A proceeding in Licking County Common Pleas Court, originally slated to begin Tuesday, will determine the value of the long-term lease on the land held by Moundbuilders Country Club, where golfers play alongside the mounds. Judge David Branstool reset the date Tuesday.

It's the Ohio History Connection's last step to gaining control of all eight of the ancient areas included in the World Heritage Site, which stretch across central and southeastern Ohio. The group has called them “part cathedral, part cemetery and part astronomical observatory.”

Ohio History Connection won an Ohio Supreme Court decision allowing it to reclaim the lease, but trial delays ensued as the country club challenged the price-setting process.

The historical society has put the value of the site at about $2 million, while the country club is seeking a much higher price.

The Associated Press
[Copyright 2024 NPR]