An attorney for the developer who wants to build 170 townhouses and 134 single-family Heartland Homes on the grounds of the former Highland Country Club told Ross Commissioners Tuesday night that the area where one of the township's founding fathers is thought to be buried, will be preserved.
His name is Casper Reel, and he died in 1824. He, and 6 members of his family, were thought to be buried near the 18th hole of the old golf course. The family cemetery is still marked with a plaque near the 18th green, according to O’Hara historian Norman Meinert, who researched the Reel family.
"I'm happy to report we've reached an understanding with Mr. John Reel, a representative of the Reel family, that we're going to preserve that area where they think there may be some graves there.," said attorney Jonathan Kamin. "We haven't been able to find any records of it but it's the right thing to do so we're going to go ahead and preserve that area with a carve-out, so it will remain undisturbed."
John Schalcosky, President of the Ross Township Historical Society, said he had given the developers several different documents which prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the Reel family is indeed buried there.
"I am very glad that they are not going to dig up our founding father and disturb his 189 year slumber," said Schalcosky. "This was the right thing to do from the very beginning and should have NEVER been a debatable issue."
Also part of the plan was the creation of the Casper Reel Memorial Park. Kamin those plans have not changed.
"That will not result in any change to the street pattern, that will not result in any change of the development in any way," he said. "It's just we're basically cutting out a perpetual easement to make sure that area remains undisturbed."
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