America's Best History Spotlight 

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area.  And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find.  You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't.  It'll be fun.  Visit them.

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Newark Moundbuilders
Great Circle State Park
Newark, Ohio
Newark Moundbuilders, Historic Indian Earth Mounds

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What is There Now

Newark Earthworks

What's There

Two hundred and six acres of the Great Circle mounds in Great Circle State Park.
Great Circle Museum with 1,000 foot exhibit of the timeline of Ohio ancient cultures.
Interpretive trails.
Moundbuilders Countryclub (viewing platform open some days to view the Octagon Earthworks)
Parking lot.
Picnic Pavilions.
Wright Earthworks.

How Much to Visit


Hours Open

Park is open year round.  Great Circle Museum and Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday year round, plus Saturday and Sunday in the summer season.  Museum is closed on some holidays.

How to Get There

From Columbus, Ohio - About 25 miles from the eastern suburbs.  Take Interstate 70 east to Route 79 North.  Go about seven miles.  On your left is the entrance and parking lot of the Great Circle State Park.  Be on the lookout, it's easy to pass.  There's a path that will take you up to the Visitor Center/Museum.  Prior to reaching the park , there are a number of places to stay and eat along the Route 79 corridor.

Website:  Newark Earthworks

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park


Visitor Center at Indian Moundbuilders, Ohio

Interesting History Nearby

John and Anna Glenn Home, pictured below (New Concord)
Zane Grey and National Road Museum (Norwich)
Motorcycle Hall of Fame (Pickerington)
Flint Ridge State Memorial and Museum (Glenford)

John and Anna Glenn Home

Past Spotlights

America On Wheels
Heinz Wildlife/Fort Mifflin
Reading Railroad Museum/Reading Phils Minor League Baseball
Rancho Los Cerritos, Long Beach, CA
Trexler Game Preserve/Horseshoe Trail
Battle of Kelly's Ford, Phelps WMA, VA
Museum of Indian Culture/Lil Le Hi Trout Nursery
Totem Pole Playhouse
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland
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About Them

Newark Moundbuilders

It's amazing really, from a bunch of different standpoints.  First, that two thousand years ago, the Hopewell Indians would erect or build a series of earth mounds across three thousand acres, somehow aligned with astronomical coordinates, in the Ohio Valley.  They're set in an ancient lunar observatory that tracks the moon on an 18.6 year cycle.  Second, that two thousand years later it's not a bigger deal, isn't visited by hundreds of thousands, 
part of which isn't now included in a golf course, and isn't part of an extended Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, which has three units fifty miles south of Columbus in Chillicothe.  But, oh well, it doesn't take away the fact that it's amazing, although the neglect it gets from a historic standpoint is mindboggling, too.

In what is now Newark, Ohio, the Hopewell Indians, without anything but hand tools dug deep trenches and mounds surrounding the three thousand acres in giant circles, octagons, and other shapes.  They were oriented with the moon, stunning when you think of the timeframe.  There are three sections to the complex, although only one is in the main park; the Great Circle (in park), the Octogan (in the Moundbuilders Country Club), and the Wright Earthworks (the remains in town off James Street).

If the Great Circle Museum is open (photo right), take the time to go inside and orient yourself.  If it's not open, take a look at the bronze outline of the mounds on the tablet in front, then start taking the path, with historical markers, near the museum.  They'll help explain what seems the unexplainable.  From there, you might just have to trod through the grass to the mounds themselves, some up to eight feet high with a moat (okay, ravine) beside them.

The site is a National Historic Landmark, but it should be part of the Hopewell Culture National Park.  
The Ohio earthworks, as noted above, are not just located in Newark, they are in Chillicothe and elsewhere, including a fabulous Serpent Mound in Peebles, Ohio, but really should be grouped together in a larger quilt.  Even the national park does not get enough attention as it is constituted now, i.e. just over 32,000 visitors last year.  

These Ohio mounds are two thousand years old.  If you're not talking american history here, I don't know where you are.  They are the largest set of geometric earthen enclosures on earth.  Think Stonehenge with dirt instead of stones.  They are viewed as one of only three ancient wonders in the New World, yet most don't know they exist.

Take the time to head to the Newark Earthworks if you're wandering down Interstate 70 some day.  You may be pretty much alone as you wander around them, but you'll be doing it in one of the least recognized, but most significant wonders in the world.  And take a ride south to the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, too, as well as Serpent Mound southwest of there, you'll be amazed.

The Newark earthworks were built between 100 BC and 500 AD.

Great Circle Earthworks - 1,200 feet in diameter; 8 feet high, 5 foot moat.

Octagon Earthworks - Includes 8 walls 550 feet long, enclosing 50 acres.  

Wright Earthworks - Used to be a near perfect square enclosing 20 acres.

Indian Moundbuilders Statue, Hopewell Indian Earthworks

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Historic Sites
Acadia National Park
Alamo, San Antonio
Appalachian Trail
Ball's Bluff
Barbary Coast - San Francisco
Big Cypress National Preserve
Blue Ridge Parkway
Bryce Canyon
Cape Canaveral
Cape Cod National Seashore
Carlsbad Caverns
Chickamauga & Chattanooga
Colorado NM
Crater Lake
Ellis Island
The Everglades
Ferry Farm/Mount Vernon
First State National Monument
Fort McHenry
Fort Sumter
Fort Vancouver
French & Indian War
Glacier National Park
The Grand Canyon
Grand Teton
Great Smoky Mountains
Harper's Ferry
Hawaii Volcanoes
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Joshua Tree National Park
Mammoth Cave
Manassas (Bull Run)
Mesa Verde
Morristown NHP
Mount Rainier
Muir Woods
Natchez Trace Parkway
New Orleans
Niagara Falls
Oklahoma Land Rush
Olympic National Park
Oregon Trail
Pearl Harbor
Petrified Forest
Philadelphia - Independence
Pinnacles National Park
Plymouth Rock
Redwood National Park
Rocky Mountain NP
The Roswell Incident
Saguaro National Park
San Antonio Missions NHS
San Juan NHS
San Juan Islands
St. Augustine
St. Louis Gateway West
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Springfield (Lincoln)
Statue of Liberty
Stones River
Sutter's Mill (Gold Rush)
Valley Forge
Theodore Roosevelt NP
War of 1812
Washington, D.C.
Washington's Crossing
White Sands
Wilderness, Battle of
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park

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U.S. History Timeline
History Timeline Index

* 1770-1779 - The American Revolution
* 1780-1789 - The Nascent Democracy
* 1790-1799 - America Builds


1800-1809 - Exploration
* 1810-1819 - The War of 1812
* 1820-1829 - A Decade of Compromise & Doctrine
* 1830-1839 - Conquering the West
* 1840-1849 - The Mexican War
* 1850-1859 - Expansion & the Looming Divide
* 1860-1869 - The Civil War
* 1870-1879 - The Nation's Centennial Decade
* 1880-1889 - America Invents
* 1890-1899 - The Age of Immigration


1900-1909 - The World Begins to Fly
* 1910-1919 - World War I
* 1920-1929 - Properity and Its Demise
* 1930-1939 - The Great Depression
* 1940-1949 - World War II
* 1950-1959 - Two Cars in Every Garage
* 1960-1969 - Civil Rights and Turmoil
* 1970-1979 - The Nation in Flux
* 1980-1989 - The Reagan Revolution
* 1990-1999 - Prosperity as the World Turns


2000-2009 - The Fight against Terrorism
* 2010-Present - Economic Recovery

1490-1499 - Columbus/Cabot
1500-1599 - Exploration
1600-1699 - Settlement
1700-1769 - American Rights

National Park Timeline
Abraham Lincoln to Cuyahoga Valley
Dayton Aviation to Gulf Islands
Hagerman Fossil Beds to Muir Woods
Natchez to Russell Cave
Sagamore Hill to Zion NP

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