First Capital Rotary Chillicothe Zoom meeting

WOUB Speaks to Chillicothe Rotary About Upcoming “Our Town”

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Our Town: Chillicothe is scheduled to premiere in Fall of 2021

ATHENS, OH – The First Capital Rotary in Chillicothe knows all about the importance of honoring their hometown’s history – just look at its name. But, some members were surprised by a few things they learned from WOUB Producer/Director Evan Shaw last week. Shaw and WOUB Community Engagement Manager Cheri Russo spoke with the group over Zoom to talk about the upcoming production of Our Town: Chillicothe.

Chillicothe was the first capital of the state of Ohio and is known for its presence on the State of Ohio seal with a circular coat of arms that depicts a Chillicothe sunrise.  But, the film will also examine many other unique aspects and people of Chillicothe including: how it is home to the oldest newspaper west of the Allegheny Mountains, the influence of the papermaking industry, how World War I contributed to the city’s growth and its notable residents like Cartoonist Billy Ireland, who lovingly lampooned the city of Columbus each week in the Columbus Dispatch, Inventor Alexander Bonner Latta, who produced the first practical steam fire engine that was successfully used as a routine part of a city’s fire department equipment, and Former U.S. First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes, who was the first First Lady to have a college degree.

“As we produce each Our Town documentary, we like to speak with area service organizations and community members to tell them about the unique things we are discovering in our research, but also to learn about parts of the community’s history that haven’t been widely told,” said Russo. “We truly appreciate the knowledge we gained from the members of the First Capital Rotary.”

“As a proud southeastern Ohio native, I’m still stunned that every time I start to work on an Our Town, that I learn something I did not know,” said Shaw. “It’s so exciting to be able to bring the stories of these communities to life and show the people who live there all the reasons they have to be proud of where they are from. It was great to gather new knowledge from the rotary.”

Shaw is a 14-time Emmy-Award winner and a southeastern Ohio native. Previously highlighted communities in the Our Town series include Lancaster, Pomeroy, Nelsonville, Jackson, Athens, Morgan County and most recently, Gallipolis. Shaw started his research on Chillicothe early this summer and is very excited about the eighth episode of the series.

WOUB plans to premiere Our Town: Chillicothe at a free public screening the Fall of 2021. More information on the date and location will be announced later.


About Our Town

Logo of Our Town documentary seriesOur Town is a historical documentary series produced by WOUB Public Media and the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact which aims to tell the unique creation stories of communities in the Appalachian region. Through the telling of this history, Our Town is building the collective story of the Appalachian region and developing an incredible sense of place and purpose to inspire residents to continue building on the past to create a stronger future.