WOUB’s Emmy-Award winning “Our Town” series will be featuring Athens for its fifth episode. Produced by WOUB Public Media, and the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact, the documentary series visits towns large and small to uncover their histories, highlight their unique contributions to the region, and explore their futures. Previous episodes featured Lancaster, Pomeroy, Nelsonville, and Jackson.
Our Town: Athens will feature many historical elements including: how the glaciers shaped our hills and valleys, stories of the early native inhabitants, the formation of the Ohio Company of Associates and their journey into the Northwest Territory, the founding of Ohio University, the early industries of salt and bricks, John Newton-Templeton – the first African American student at Ohio University, heroes of the Civil War, The Athens Asylum, The Berry Hotel, The McBee Corporation, The King Midget auto company, PGA Champion Dow Finsterwald and many more!
In addition to historical events and people, the documentary will also highlight how the city of Athens has preserved its history, and the many organizations dedicated to preserving that heritage today, such as The Southeast Ohio History Center, The Dairy Barn, The Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society and more!
Ten-time Emmy-Award winning filmmaker, and Southeastern Ohio native, Evan Shaw, started research and production on the Athens episode last year.
“Our Town is one of my favorite projects, and I’m really excited to feature Athens for our next episode,” said Shaw. Every city in Southeastern Ohio has an incredible history, and Athens is no exception. It’s my hope that people who see this film will learn something new about their town, and be inspired by the stories of some incredible people who have called this region home. Ohio was built by the people of this area, and I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to tell their stories.”
As with every Our Town episode many local historians and citizens were interviewed to tell the story of their city’s history.
“It’s very important to me that this is the story of Athens as told by the people of Athens.” Shaw said. “My job is to simply take these stories and compile them into a single narrative. This particular film includes interviews with more than a dozen local historians and citizens who have dedicated their lives to preserving our heritage. I’m very excited to give them an opportunity to appear on the big-screen!”
WOUB will premiere Our Town – Athens at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, located on Ohio University’s College Green, on Sunday, March 25th at 3 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public. Our Town- Athens will premiere on WOUB television, Monday March 26 at 8pm.
Planning on coming to our free screening? Click here to be directed to our Facebook event page and let us know you’ll be there!