From its first discovery by Europeans, and its initial naming as the “Old Fort,” the Great Circle has been preserved, and renamed, through uses both recreational and military. Historian Jeff Gill explains:

We also have the early pioneer history interacting with the structure, calling it the “Old Fort.” (But around 1820) Caleb Atwater comes along and he starts to notice: Wait a minute, the moat’s on the inside of the wall, maybe it’s not a fort. But the name changes largely because, shortly after that, it becomes the County Fairground – and it becomes known as the Fairgrounds Circle.

Later, local area soldiers gathered and trained here on their way to fight in the Civil War:

And the “76” fights all the way down to Atlanta, and to Savannah, and then up for the grand review in Washington at the end of the war, and back home. And of the 900 men who left, less than half make it back home.

The so-called “Old Fort” (The Great Circle) became the Licking County Fairgrounds, and was also knwn for a time as “Idlewilde Park”.




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