Photos by Karen Rase | Greene County News

Former First Lady Hope Taft (left), gave a lecture during a recent Bellbrook Historical Society meeting. Around 75 attendees gathered at Bellbrook Presbyterian Church to hear about her 160-mile trek throughout the Ohio countryside from Fort Ancient to Chillicothe to Newark in a quest to visit eight ancient Hopewell ceremonial sites. She brought copies of the book “Walking Ancient Ohio” written by fellow hiker Buck Niehoff and researched by Frances Repperger.

Society patrons and visitors stand in line to get a copy of Buck Niehoff’s book, which Hope Taft contributed to. Several other hikers walked along the journey as well. The group’s goal was to link the sites by taking the backroads of Ohio and to explore some of the most beautiful architectural achievements ever created. Built more than 2,000 years ago, these structures were sacred spaces with remarkably accurate alignments to the cycle of the sun and moon.