JACKSON— Everyone was young once and the newest exhibit at the Jones Museum shows 136 years of local and national history through the lens of youth; how it was for boys and girls who went through Jackson High School through the years.
“This exhibit relies heavily on the Osky Wow, the JHS yearbook, along with trophies and photographs to show how history impacted the youth and future of Jackson from 1876-2012,” said Megan Malone, director of the Lillian E. Jones Museum. “Jackson High School has been housed in four separate buildings since 1876 and in this exhibit there is something about each one of those buildings and the youthful time spent there.
“It is fascinating to read the comments in the Osky Wows of the early 1900s and realize that those kids had similar opinions about their sports teams and concerns about their grades and dances as do modern high schoolers.”
One exception in comparisons is the significance and impact of war on Jackson High School and its students. Pages from the 1918 and 1943-47 yearbooks show the experiences of World Wars I and II on the homefront.
“The ‘Sports Chatter’ section of the 1943 Osky Wow is equal parts about the players who left school and joined the service and the football team’s season and record with a healthy dose of patriotism overriding it all,” Malone said. “It’s sobering to read the Osky Wow and realize that high school boys were playing football and then leaving for war after the season ended. That was not a part of my high school experience, yet it happened in the same hallways I remember when I was a JHS student.
“But this exhibit isn’t limited in appeal to JHS graduates. Anyone interested in history should view this exhibit and browse through some of the materials. Even the advertisements from the yearbooks, new and old, are interesting to see.”
Members of the 50-year reunion class of 1963 can come to the Jones Museum and see their team’s SEOAL championship basketball trophy and photo as well as the 1961 football team’s trophy of which many of the class of ’63 were members, and one undefeated jacket loaned to the Jones Museum by a classmate.
Also on display is the 1879 JHS diploma of Asa Messenger and his photo along with the 1886 diploma of Amanda Long. The two later married and Messenger became a medical doctor. Miami University of Ohio currently awards a scholarship in Dr. Messenger’s name for undergraduates desiring to become physicians.
Football trophies from 1938 and 1953 are also on display as well as the 1912 Osky Wow, the first yearbook printed for Jackson High School.
Current era athletics are represented by large-size photos of Jackson’s two state champions; golfer Morgan Dobbins, class of 2010, and long jumper Karena Fulks, class of 2012.
“Jackson High School, the JHS Alumni Association and numerous members of the community have been very gracious in loaning items to the Jones Museum for this exhibit,” Malone said. “It is fitting for us all to work together in presenting this exhibit to the community because the story of JHS is a part of the story of the city of Jackson and Jackson County as well.
“This is an exhibit the Jones Museum plans to host yearly with different focus points as part of our vision to interest and explain history to the entire community.”
The Jones Museum’s regular hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and this exhibit will run through June. The Jones Museum will be open May 25 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. prior to the 138th annual Alumni Association program at Jackson Middle School. The JHS Class of 1988 will hold an open house/reunion at the museum May 18 from 4-7 p.m. open to all class members and their families.
For more information or to schedule private group tours, contact Director Megan Malone at the Jones Museum 740-286-2556.