Thursday, May 6, 2021

A push to advance the golf course over a Native American ‘Stonehenge’


NEWARK, Ohio – Here’s the third hole Moundbuilders Country Club A tricky par 4 is: The green is protected by a six-foot-high mound that almost completely encircles the hole and if your approach shot goes awry then it needs a dift chip shot to clean it.

“It’s a blind shot,” said Randol Mitchell, the club’s head golf professional, after running his ball a good portion of the hole 435 yards away. “You have to watch out for those mounds.”

The topography of the course is built around the mounds, which were determined by the cosmology of the Native Americans who created it nearly 2,000 years ago as a way of measuring the motion of the sun and moon through the sky.

But now the club, which has leased the land for more than a century, is being asked to relocate so that the mound can be properly embraced as an archaeological treasure, a club member understands – They have preserved mounds for generations – but one they say will be difficult for them to do until state representatives kick the ante for the cost of building new golf venues.

Representatives of the state proposed the proposed $ 1.7 million amount under the eminent domain, up from the initial proposal of $ 800,000. But the club wants $ 12 million. The dispute was heard by the heads of the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The site’s historical import is clear. US Department of the Interior has already selected the land to enroll As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of a larger proposed bid to recognize some similar sites in Ohio, known as the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthwork.

Many golfers say they accept that importance, even though they have named the one-eight-foot “Big Head”. The club has a scrapbook that tracks the history of the Earth, known as the Octagon Earthwork, back to their creation. There is a painting and photographs of the mound in the club house. Golfers are barred from driving over them, except for paved paths.

Nevertheless, if one suffered a ball due to ancient earthquakes, it is not prohibited to swing with a 3-iron.

“Water, wood and sand create natural challenges at many golf courses,” said David Kratoville, president of the club’s board of trustees. “Here, these are mounds.”

Once there were hundreds of major earthquakes, which were created by people Hopwell culture, Which refers to the plains reconstruction groups of Native Americans living in North America from about 100 BCE to 500 BCE, but their value was not recognized until recent years, and many were destroyed.

One basket of earth at a time, using pointed sticks and clamshell hoses, the mounds at the golf course are part of the wider Newark Earthworks and have been widely adopted as an astronomical and geometric marvel.

Once every 18.6 years, if you stand above the observatory mound of the course and look at the line of parallel mounds Octagon The area is something spectacular. When the rising moon reaches its northernmost position, it rotates to within one half of a degree, above the exact center of the octagon. Experts say the alignments at Stonehenge are no less sophisticated than the aligning stones.

Members of the Hopewell culture probably intended earthquakes that could only be fully appreciated from above, to show their moon and sun gods that they understood their movements, said Ray Hilli, Richmond, Hilly, who discovered these alignments with philosophy professor Robert Horn in the 1980s, professor emeritus of astronomy and physics at Earlham College in Ind., Said the effort was an attempt to connect or communicate with the forces that control the larger universe. It is possible.

In 1892, about 40 miles east of Columbus, Chaat County and the City of Newark allowed the state to use it as a land for the Ohio National Guard. But after the camp closed, he recovered it and leased it to the club in 1910. A famous golf architect, Thomas Bendelow, who built America’s first 18-hole public golf course, in Van Cortlandt Park, the Bronx, designed a course. By 1911 the ancient moon markers had been turned into mis-shot opponents.

“Ancient Moundbuilders inadvertently overtook the setting for a strange and sporty golf course, as ever felt by a niece’s shock,” an article about the course Golf Illustrated announced January 1930.

Course only, with one Slope rating 119’s, moderately tough, though no one would confuse it for Jack Nicklaus Muirfield Village Golf Club (Slope 130), which sits 40 miles to the west. Mitchell said the mounds are a more difficult obstacle than they first appeared.

“It’s hard to shoot here in general,” he said. “Regardless, on paper, it shouldn’t be as hard.”

Attempts to fully recognize the importance of mules outweigh unusual golf hazards, a period of nearly two decades for bidding to build a club club, the foundations of which will be dug into the mound, was denied. At that point, a group led by local professors and Native Americans mounted a protest campaign – and some residents began to question whether the course should exist at all.

Then, now, the club’s reluctance to make way for the site’s worldwide recognition attracted criticism.

“We don’t want a country club on the Acropolis,” the Pokagan Band of Potawomi Indians and John N., director of the Newark Earthworks Center. Lo said in an interview. “We don’t want a country club on the Octagon.”

Club members have long argued that the criticism is unfair, due to a reluctance to hold that the club also has some history, and to believe that the amount being offered to lease it is present. Can not live

“Everyone would love to portray us as rich fat cats,” said the club’s former general manager, Ralph Burpee. Told the New York Times in 2005. “Well, this is Newark, Ohio, which prevents too many rich fat cats.”

Kratoville described the club’s nearly 300 current members as belonging to “a blue-collar country club”.

“Our members are people like plumbers,” he said, “and they come out for a day and clean the sand trap and plant flowers.”

The owner of the property today is Ohio History Connection, a statewide nonprofit organization that contracts with the state to oversee more than 50 historic sites. The nonprofit has leased the property to the club since its acquisition in 1933 and hosts four open houses at the club each year, which included guided tours of the mound prior to the epidemic. The property is also open to the public on Mondays or when the weather is unsuitable for golf. In the rest of the year, visitors will have to watch the mound from a high platform near the parking area.

History Connection would like to turn the site into a public park and be presented for recognition as a World Heritage Site, as an “outstanding value for humanity”, with others like the Taj Mahal and the Grand Canyon.

“We understand the obligation on the part of Ohio taxpayers to responsibly protect and interpret the historical value of the site,” said History Connection Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Bert Logan. “And we hope that we will finally be able to do it soon.”

But without full public access to the site, federal officials have said that World Heritage nomination would be impossible.

Moundbuilders’ lease runs from 2078. Although Cretoville stated that the club was ready to relocate, History Connection and the club separately had millions of dollars. In 2018, History Connection took the club to court to place a bid to obtain a lease through eminent domain.

Two lower courts have ruled in favor of history connection, And now it is up to the Ohio Supreme Court to consider whether the nonprofit has the right to purchase the remainder of the lease. The History Connection, formerly known as the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, last acquired a several-acre earthquake 100 miles south of the Octagon site more than a century ago.

The Country Club is arguing that the History Connection did not negotiate in “good faith” what is required before it is taken under eminent domain, and that the public purpose is being served – research, education services, and conservation. An Extended Program – Can be completed without terminating the lease of a major employer.

Ohio lawyer Zachary J. Murari, who specializes in eminent domain matters, said the court may be reluctant to play a role in deciding which of the public objectives of the competition is better because policy determinations are usually made by other branches of government.

But if the court assumes that role, there will be a question, he said, whether operating as a public park and the possibility of becoming a world-recognized wonder was a sufficient justification to warrant taking up now, when the recognition has yet Has not been approved.

“This” conditional ‘requirement seems problematic, “he said.

If the club moves forward, Kratovil said he was unsure whether the Moundbuilders County club would keep his name. But it certainly would not try to recreate the mound, he said.

“You can’t do that,” he said. “It will be a different course.”

The Supreme Court is tasked with deciding only the eminent domain issue. If the right to lease is found in the History Connection, compensation will be thrown out at a later date in the lower court – an idol said would eventually fall somewhere between the two valuations.

Glenna Wallace, the first female chief of the eastern Shawnee tribe of Oklahoma who considers her ancestors, said the dispute goes beyond monetary value. He said the recognition of World Heritage for Earthlings – and full public outreach – would play an important role in the way Americans think about Native Americans, he said.

“The sophistication needed to make it appear that my ancestors were not barbarians,” she said. “It should be open to the public every single day of the week, every single day of the year.”



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