Author and Historian Victoria O'Donnell joins Shawn Michaels to talk about her new book!

As a history educator, I feel it is important to build connections to our state, national, and world history therefore I infuse local history into lesson plans for the classroom.  It promotes civic responsibility & instills pride in our community.  The project really started as I boarded a bus to take a tour of Jackson provided by Bernie Reider.  All new teachers were provided with the tour.  As a long time Jackson resident, I was surprised to learn many facts about the town.  As the years went by I provided bits of local history in daily lesson plans. 

A few years ago I came across an article on New Jersey history, then & now, & I decided to create a pamphlet on Jackson then & now.  I called upon Mr. Reider to provide my students with a tour of the town, one of the highlights being the Prospertown one-room schoolhouse.  I was saddened to see the condition of the schoolhouse.  I know many people worked hard to save the building.  I began to think of ways to raise funds to restore the schoolhouse.

I began to collect old pictures of the town & decided to write a proposal to Arcadia Publishing to deliver a picture history of the town in an effort to raise money to restore the schoolhouse.  I discussed the idea with the co-author of Jackson Township, and he immediately was on board to assist in this endeavor. 

The project could not have been possible without the assistance of Bernie Reider and local business owner, Daniel J. Black of Blackie’s Welding.  They were able to help us build connections with members of the community to collect the pictures and stories necessary to publish this book.

We are grateful to all the people that opened their doors to us and shared their stories with us so that we could share it with our town.  The author proceeds for this book are being donated to historic preservation and history education in Jackson Township.

 Vicky O’Donnell

Listen here for Vicky's Interview with Shawn