COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — Newark’s ancient Octagon Earthworks can be converted to a public park after more than a century of use as a golf course, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled. 

The justices ruled 5-1 Tuesday in favor of the Ohio History Connection, which already owns the land and wants to buy out the value of the lease to Moundbuilders Country Club Co. under eminent domain. The opinion upholds rulings in both Licking County and appellate courts in the dispute that started five years ago. 

The case next returns to Licking County Common Pleas Court for a jury trial to determine the fair value to purchase the leasehold rights. 

The octagonal mound, currently criss-crossed with fairways, aligns with moon rises and sets in a complex 18.6-year cycle of orbital changes “with unparalleled geometric precision,” the ruling said. “It offers a unique example of human ingenuity and the perennial desire to understand the universe and its celestial bodies.”