The Good Hitlers of Circleville

Photo of The Good Hitlers of Circleville

The city of Circleville, situated thirty miles to the south of Ohio’s largest city, Columbus, has a few things to boast. The Circleville Pumpkin Show, which the city has been hosting for more than a century, is the biggest festival in the United States dedicated to the fruit, attracting several hundred thousand visitors over multiple days, as well as unusually large-sized pumpkins. Pumpkins weighing in excess of 1,000 pounds frequently turn up at the pumpkin weighing contest, with the current record standing at 1,964 pounds (891 kg).

Circleville is also one of the first American cities to undergo a major urban restructuring. When the city was originally founded, in the beginning of the 19th century, it had a circular layout to correspond to the circular ancient Native American earthwork over which the city was built. This is how the city got its name—Circleville. It had an octagonal courthouse at the center surrounded by concentric rings of streets intersected by more streets radiating out of the courthouse like spokes of a wheel. But many residents were not happy with the layout, so starting 1837, the city demolished its old buildings and streets and rebuilt the entire city in the more conventional square grid. The city boasts this rebuilding process as the earliest example of urban redevelopment in the United States.

Hitler Road#2 in Circleville, Ohio. Photo credit: Scott/Flickr

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