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Horicon School District opens 1921 time capsule

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 4:12 PM CST
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HORICON, Wis. (WBAY) - A hundred years after Van Brunt Memorial School opened in Horicon, a time capsule tucked away in a cornerstone during its dedication, has been opened.

For a hundred years students in Horicon roamed the halls of Van Brunt Memorial School. Dedicated in June of 1921, it originally housed kindergarten through 12th grade, most recently it was the elementary school before being sold to a developer.

“We know the cornerstone remained there and we anticipated that there was something left in there, as a time capsule, but we weren’t 100% sure,” says district superintendent Rich Appel.

That hunch led to a tin box, tucked away in that cornerstone. It’s contents displayed, publicly, for the first Wednesday morning.

“Every students name was in there from 1921, kindergarten all the way through seniors. They had all of the faculty that was in there,” says Appel about some of the capsule’s contents.

The box, made in the school’s tin shop, which deteriorated over time, damaging some of it contents also contained an American flag with only 48 stars. There were coins and Confederate bills inside too, along with copies of The Horicon Reporter, the local newspaper, commemorating the building of the new school. A history of the time and the people who lived in the community.

“To me it’s always interesting to kind of get that connection to the past,” says Mike LeBouton, middle school principal and athletic director. He adds, “Seeing some of the names here, on some of these lists, are still prominent names in our community and just seeing that connection of that far in the past to right now just makes everything seem pretty small world-ish.”

The contents of the 1921 time capsule, along with one from 1964, which was also found during renovations on the current school campus will be put on display for all to see.

According to Rich Appel, “History is important and our kids can actually see what somebody has done for them years and years and years ago.”

And the district plans to put together its own time capsule in the spring to leave for generations to come with Appel saying, “A hundred years from now somebody is going to open it up and say I wonder who these people were.”

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