Chillicothe Our Town

The eighth installment of the WOUB Public Media television series on Southeastern will focus on Chillicothe.

As the first capital of the state of Ohio, it is known for its presence on Ohio’s “Great Seal,” a circular coat of arms that depicts a Chillicothe sunrise over Thomas Worthington’s homestead, the sixth governor of Ohio.

According to a press release from WOUB, Chillicothe’s name is derived from the Shawnee Indian’s language. The upcoming documentary, set to premier in the fall of 2021, will examine the name’s meaning, as well as the town’s role in Ohio’s early government. The documentary will also take a look at other historical events that shaped the Ross County city.

“Chillicothe was an important center of government and culture long before it was chosen as Ohio’s first capitol in 1803,” said Evan Shaw, director and producer of the series. “While Alexander the Great was busy conquering half the world in the 3rd Century BCE, the Adena Culture had already been established in Southern Ohio for generations. And for the next two thousand years, the Ross County area remained a vibrant hub for many cultures including the Adena, Hopewell, Shawnee, and eventually European settlers.”

The film will also examine many other aspects of the town, including its people, and other historic aspects 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, Harley Warrick, the most prolific painter of “Mail Pouch Tobacco” barns in the United States, and Former U.S. First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes, who was the first First Lady to have a college degree.

The film’s director, 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 in the summer of 2020 and expressed excitement about the eighth episode of the series.

“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.”

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.

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