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Jackson County Central students present contents of time capsule

Edward and Janice Yonker are shown with the the time capsule from 1938 displayed at Jackson County Central High School.

JACKSON -- Memories were evoked among community members at the JCC high school auditorium Friday morning when several students presented their findings from the 1938 time capsule that was buried in the former Jackson High School.

The 1938 high school was converted into the county resource center in 2001. The age-old building was finally demolished early last year after much controversy.

JCC county history teacher Chris Naumann explained that he was given the time capsule after the building was torn down. He decided a presentation of the time capsule was pertinent due to the history of the building.

"I know the history of the building is very controversial, but my class put a lot of feeling and passion into this presentation," Naumann said about the building commonly referred to as the 1938 building.

Fifteen students from Naumann's history class spoke briefly on Friday about the timeline of past schools in Jackson including the 1938 high school, the transition of the building into the county resource center, and why refurbishing the 1938 building was not financially feasible.

They detailed their presentation with pictures of the former high school and the contents from the time capsule.

"It's exciting because I've never done something like opening a time capsule," said student Maria Will.

Students opened the capsule in December last year and spent about two months conducting research and compiling a slide show.

"We had multiple discussions," Will said of the copper time capsule. "Our first thought was to use the plasma cutter, but we soon realized that (it) would damage the contents inside. We settled on the idea of cutting the corners of the box and then peeling the copper box back."

Among the contents of the box were class lists from 1938 for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, a high school band program and architect designs for the historical 1938 building.

Former Jackson County Commissioner Edward Yonker found his name printed at the bottom of the kindergarten list.

"I remember walking across the ramp and dropping my name in a box," he said. "Evidently, someone must have picked up the box and printed the name of the students."

Cathy Buxengard, who graduated in 1970, was amazed at the pictures from 1930.

"The school was built to last," she said. "I saw the pictures in 1938, and it looked the same when I was there in 1970."

"My dad was a freshman and my aunt was a senior in 1938," Buxengard continued. "It was really sentimental to see their names on the class list."

In a room outside the auditorium, students had neatly displayed the contents of the time capsules. After the presentation, attendees reminisced about their alma mater over coffee and cookies.

"I wish more community members would have come," said Yonker's wife Janice. "It was a great presentation."

Contents of the time capsule will be displayed in a glass case at the high school cafeteria.