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home : local news : local news August 18, 2017

3/17/2017 2:59:00 PM
'Our Town' is Jackson
Local history to come alive at WOUB's Our Town: Jackson, showing at JMS March 26

WOUB's Our Town series is pleased to announce that it will feature Jackson for its fourth episode. Produced by WOUB Public Media, the documentary series visits towns large and small to uncover their histories, highlight their unique contributions to the region and explore their futures.

Episode one showcased Lancaster, episode two focused on the Ohio River town of Pomeroy in Meigs County, and episode three featured Nelsonville in Athens County.

Emmy award-winning series producer, and Southeastern Ohio native, Evan Shaw, began research last year on the project and production on the Jackson episode is almost complete.

"Our Town is one of my favorite projects, and I'm really excited to film in Jackson for our next episode! I think it is perfect timing with the bicentennial celebrations, and I'm very excited for the film's debut. I have discovered some amazing stories," Shaw said.

Our Town: Jackson will feature many historical elements including stories about the early native inhabitants of the area, the salt springs, the immigration of the Welsh, the major influences of the iron industry, Morgan's Raid and much more.

In addition to historical events, the documentary will also highlight what makes Jackson special today, including segments focused on the Apple Festival, the Jackson Eisteddfod, and many more. In the early parts of the documentary, Shaw stated the story of Jackson County as a whole will be told. As the story shifts to modernity, however, the City of Jackson will become the focal point.

Holzer Medical Center

"To tell the story of the city, you have to tell the story of the county around it as well," Shaw said.

As with every Our Town episode, many local historians and citizens are interviewed to tell the story of their city's history.

"It's very important to me that this is the story of Jackson as told by the people of Jackson," Shaw said. "My job is to simply take these stories and compile them into a single narrative."

Some of the people interviewed for this particular piece include local historians Bob Ervin and Mike Stroth, Lillian Jones Museum Director Megan Malone, Jeanne Jindra and Elizabeth Davis of the Madog Center for Welsh Studies at the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College, Jackson Mayor Randy Heath, the Director of Operations at the Markay Cultural Arts Center Jennifer Hughes, Southern Hills Arts Council member Barbara Summers, and Jackson Historical Society member Paul Berridge.

"The people of Jackson have been great," Shaw said. "The city has some of the best-preserved history of some of the towns I've seen. That made my job easy."

The city that will be featured in the next installment of Our Town will be announced soon, according to Shaw. One thing he said he has taken away from the Our Town project is that each of the cities highlighted, though they are geographically close, their stories are far spread.

"Each of these cities in Southeast Ohio have really unique histories," Shaw explained. "Everybody thinks we're all the same and we're not."

The film will premiere on WOUB television on March 27 at 8 p.m. A free public screening will be held on Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m. at the Jackson Middle School. For more information about Our Town: Jackson, visit www.woub.org.

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