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Circleville is a city in and the county seat of Pickaway County, Ohio, United States, along the Scioto River. The population was 13,314 at the 2010 census.
The city was originally laid out after 1810 within the 1100-foot diameter of a circle of a Hopewell tradition earthwork dating to the early centuries of the Common Era. The county courthouse was built in the center of the innermost circle. By the late 1830s residents had tired of this design and gained authorization from the state legislature to change the layout to a standard grid, which was accomplished by the mid-1850s. All traces of the Hopewell earthwork were destroyed here, although hundreds of other monuments may be found in the Ohio Valley.
Circleville hosts the Circleville Pumpkin Show every October.
By the mid-18th century, the Lenape (Delaware Indians) were pushed west from Pennsylvania by English-led settlers flowing into the colony. The Lenape were given permission by the Wyandot to settle in the Ohio country. One of their settlements was Maguck, built by 1750 on the banks of the Scioto River. Modern Circleville was built to the north of this site.
Noted frontier explorer Christopher Gist was the first recorded European visitor to the Circleville area. Gist reached Maguck, the small Lenape village of about 10 families on the east bank of the Scioto River, on January 20, 1751. He wrote that that he had stayed in the town for four days.
Circleville was founded by European-American settlers in 1810, as migrants moved west after the American Revolutionary War. It derived its name from the circular portion of what is now known to have been a large Hopewell culture earthwork; the town was built on top of the remains of this. The original town plan integrated Circleville into the remains of the Hopewell earthworks with a street layout 1100-foot diameter circle. This was connected to a 900-foot square. These dated from the early Common Era; the Hopewell tradition flourished up to 500CE. An octagonal courthouse was placed directly in the center circle of the town.
The Hopewell circles were documented by Caleb Atwater, a resident and historian who was considered an early archeologist; the earthworks were illustrated in Plate 5 of his Description of the Antiquities Discovered in the State of Ohio and Other Western States, a 160-page report he published in 1820 in the first volume of the Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society.
Dissatisfaction among residents rose over Circleville’s layout, however. In 1837 at the request of the town, the Ohio General Assembly authorized the “Circleville Squaring Company” to convert the town plan into a squared grid, as was typical of other platted towns. In 1856, this had been completed in several phases. No traces of the original earthworks remain. A few of the older buildings have curved walls built to conform to the town’s original circular layout.
Circleville is located at 39°36′11″N 82°56′21″W (39.602990, -82.939272).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.76 square miles (17.51 km2), of which, 6.64 square miles (17.20 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.31 km2) is water.
Calamus Swamp is a 19-acre public reserve located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the town.
Manufacturing makes up a significant proportion of area industry and employment; in the 2010 census, 3075 county residents (13.4%) were employed in manufacturing. Circleville is home to the largest DuPont chemical plant in Ohio. Opened in the 1950s, it produces Mylar and Tedlarplastic films, the latter used extensively in the production of photovoltaic modules. PACCAR, a Seattle-based truck manufacturing company has maintained a large factory for over 35 years. A GE Lighting plant, recently expanded to produce energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps, opened in 1948 and currently employs more than 200 people. Other manufacturing concerns in Circleville or surrounding Pickaway County include Aleris, a producer of rolled and extruded aluminum products, and Florida Production Engineering, Inc. (FPE), producing plastic injection molded components for the automotive industry. The formerJefferson-Smurfit paper mill, a 300-acre site, is being redeveloped. Georgia-Pacific, a manufacturer of paperboard containers and other paper products, has a plant located south of town. The PPG Industries Circleville plant is the company’s center for polymer resin production, primarily for automotive applications. Fastenal Company distributes industrial, safety and construction supplies from its facility on US Highway 23 west of Circleville.
Other major employers include Berger Health System; Circleville City, Teays Valley Local and Logan Elm Local School districts; Circle Plastics/TriMold LLC; the State of Ohio; andWal-Mart Stores.
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