Wilks Foundation honored for preserving Fortified Hill Earthworks

The Ohio History Connection, formerly known as the Ohio Historical Society, has given its State Historic Preservation Office Award to the Harry T. Wilks Family Foundation for acquisition of the Fortified Hill Earthworks, near Hamilton in Butler County, ensuring its preservation.

Preservation Officer Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of Ohio History Connection, presented the award recently at the site.

The award recognizes the acquisition in 2019 of the National Register of Historic Places-listed Fortified Hill Earthworks, a 2,000-year-old Middle Woodland period, Hopewell Culture, hilltop enclosure in Butler County. 

As preservationists worked to raise about $500,000 to purchase one of four parcels known to contain the earthworks, foundation officials committed $1 million to help in the acquisition. The goal then shifted to raising funds to help buy all four parcels. On the day of the auction, the Wilks bid over $1.5 million funds to buy all four parcels.

A view of Fortified Hill Earthworks

Each year, the state history organization highlights outstanding historic preservation achievements in Ohio through these awards. The Wilks Foundation is one of five winners in 2020.

Other winners:

  • The Millennia Companies, City Architecture, K2M Design and The Albert M. Higley Company for rehabilitation of the 1912 Hotel Statler as The Statler apartments
  • Paul LaRue and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park for their collaboration in developing the lesson plan Camp Sherman and the Mound City Earthworks: A Unique Story of Preservation
  • The Orlean Company, City Architecture, Drake Construction and Renewal Housing Associates, LLC for the rehabilitation of the 1923 Fenway Hall as the Fenway Manor apartments
  • The Barr Family and Jarrod Burks for their work to preserve the Snake Den Mounds Complex near East Ringgold in Pickaway County

www.ohiohistory.org

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