The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 25, 2012

Time capsule from 1915 found in cornerstone of old Ashtabula High School

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Sometimes books are not needed to learn history.

Contractors experienced a blast from the past last week when, while demolishing old Ashtabula High School on West 44th Street, they discovered a time capsule (a copper box) in the cornerstone.

School officials believe it was left behind by students nearly 100 years ago.

Dave Boyer, the school district’s director of operations, said they have no idea what is inside the box but the foundation of Ashtabula High School was laid in 1915, according to school records.

“We do know that the box was definitely placed in the cornerstone in 1915 because it was literally cemented in,” he said. “It would have been impossible to add it to the foundation at a later date.”

School officials are planning to have the past come to life again at 5 p.m. Nov. 15 in Lakeside High School's large group instruction room. That’s when school officials will open the copper box. They hope the event will draw a big crowd of city officials, parents, teachers and curious students.

Superintendent Joseph Donatone said, “Once the contents are removed, we will place them on a table for the public to view.”

The demolition of the old high school is nearly complete, with only a corner of the building left to    take down.

In June, the board awarded the bid to abate the school of asbestos to Cardinal Environmental Services of Akron for $212,875.

ProQuality Land Development was awarded the job of demolishing the school for $365,000.

The job, including landscaping the lot, should be done by December.