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JACKSONTOWN ‑ A small metal box held nearly a lifetime of memories for the former students of a Jacksontown school. Sunday afternoon, 77 spectators attended the unveiling of a time capsule that was placed 66 years ago in the cornerstone e what is now the ExcelAcademyin Jacksontown. The time capsule was opened to coincide with Ohio's bicentennial.
"I can't believe this many years have gone by," said Dale McFarland, who attended the school in 1936, when the capsule was sealed. McFarland said there was also a large crowd for the placing of the capsule into the cornerstone, although it was tough to hear the speaker that day over the mooing of the cows, which then surrounded the school.
Although time‑worn, many of the contents uncovered Sunday were at least recognizable. They included an American flag, newspaper stories about the construction of the school's new wing built in 1936, a complete Newark Advocate newspaper from March 31, 1936‑‑the headline read, “Hauptmann Doomed to Chair"—and signatures and photos of the students from various grades.
"There are some things in there, we're not sure what they say," said McFarland. "Sixty‑six years in a tin can is a long time."
"There are a lot of memories for these folks. This is really meaningful for a lot of people," said Licking Township Trustee President Joe Cooper. "You have to see where you've been to know where you're going."
Trustee Ron Acord explained that the school's original structure was built in 1914, for the price of $ 14,000. In 1936, an addition was created that included the gymnasium, and the cornerstone that held the time capsule for so many years.
"It's amazing the amount of people that are here for this event," said Acord. "There are a lot of good people here. I don't think many of us knew the capsule was even in there."
Lawrence Clark, graduate of the Class of 1937, remembered that his graduation was held in the gymnasium, even though it didn’t have a roof yet, and he and his classmates were very hopeful it wouldn’t rain during the ceremony.
"You never heard of a graduation out in the open then," he said. The contents of the time capsule brought back quite a few memories for Clark, but he was disappointed in the contents' condition.
"It should have been in better shape," he said. "The capsule didn't hold up well." The capsule may not have stood the test of time, but Clarkthought the gymnasium and its surrounding wing had.
"This was a big improvement to the community when this opened up," he said. Finally, community members and students had a place to meet, and the school had a place for its notable basketball team to play.
Cooper thanked Steve White, owner of the building, for allowing the capsule to be removed from the brick structure, and for allowing the township trustees to retain the contents of the capsule. Sunday, July 20, , a new 2003 time capsule will be installed in the Licking Township Hall in Jacksontown. The new time capsule will be opened in 50 years.
The yearbook, which contains Clark's class and many others, is available to be viewed on LickingTownship's website at www.lickingtwpohio.us.
Story and photos by Scott Rawdon
About 77 people attended the unveiling of a time capsule, which was placed in the cornerstone of what is currently Jacksontown's ExcelAcademy
in 1939. The Licking Township Trustees will place a 2003 time capsule in the
Licking Township Hall July 20.