Revisit Circleville

It’s the time of year!  My mind drifts to The Pumpkin Show, in Circleville, Ohio:
Central Ohioans have been enjoying this festival focused on the harvest, fall and all things PUMPKIN since 1903.  Circleville rolls out the welcome matt for the festival, shutting down the streets in the center of town to vehicular traffic for several days each year.

Ever wonder about the "circle" in Circleville? 
Circleville was in fact laid out as a circular pattern of streets with a courthouse at the center around 1810 . The circle was modified over decades by business leaders assuming a greater efficiency in a grid pattern. By the mid 1850's no trace of the circle remained.

I had always assumed the circle was derived from notions of ideal cities, city planning ideas prevalent at the time of its original platting, or influence from the utopian movements in America in the 1800’s. In fact, the town was laid out inside of a circular Hopewell Indian earthwork that had existed on the site for a millennium (an adjacent square earthwork was connected - perhaps a ceremonial pairing).

Claude Nicholas Ledoux -idealized plan for a city -partially realized

Claude Nicholas Ledoux -idealized plan for a city -partially realized

Hopewell Indian mound - Circleville was laid out inside the circular mound

Hopewell Indian mound - Circleville was laid out inside the circular mound

Circleville - early image

Circleville - early image

The transformation of Circleville over time

The transformation of Circleville over time

Idealized city planning

Idealized city planning

Overlay of Circleville plan on the original Hopewell mounds

Overlay of Circleville plan on the original Hopewell mounds