The 8th Most Embarrassing Moment of Ohio History is…
8. Newark Board of Trade Finds a Curious Way to Save An Earthwork
Editors Note: You may have noticed that this blog posting was originally posted yesterday as the number 10 Most Embarrassing Moment in Ohio’s History. The original title, “We’ll Celebrate the Moonrise on the 9th Hole,“ changed the focus of the article from its original intent as an interesting historical event into a current issue that could be perceived as insensitive to various audiences. The post remains the same with the exception of a new headline.
The goal of the “Ohio’s Top 10 Most Embarrassing Moments” blog series has been to explore some of the more quirky, awkward and sometimes humorous historical events in Ohio’s storied past. The issues surrounding the Newark Earthworks are complex and require more discussion than was intended for this series. History is complex and navigating the many different interpretations is not always easy. In the words of author William Faulkner, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.”
Newark (6 April 1910). Despite calls to turn Newark’s monumental Octagon Earthworks into a public park, the Newark Board of Trade voted instead to turn this 2,000-year-old American Indian cathedral into a golf course. The site had been preserved originally by the people of Licking County for use as the Ohio National Guard’s encampment grounds. Eventually, the National Guard moved their encampment north to Lake Erie and Newark was left with finding an alternative use for the property.
Lepper, Bradley T. 2002 The Newark Earthworks: a wonder of the ancient world. Ohio Historical Society, Columbus.
Ohio History Central: Octagon Earthworks