San Francisco Students Get A Rare Peek At School Life, 100 Years Ago

By Meera Dolasia on February 1, 2011

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On Wednesday, January 26th, some lucky students from San Francisco's Cleveland Elementary School were witness to a once-in-a-lifetime event - The opening of a 100-year old time capsule, left by former students of the school.

The existence of the battered copper box, which had withstood the ravages of the century rather well, was discovered by 69-year old alumni, John Weidinger whilst he was reading some archived newspapers at San Francisco's Public Library.

According to the article, the capsule had been encompassed inside a wall behind a mural in the school compound. Since both mural and the wall are still intact, the principal decided to look for it - Sure enough, it lay exactly where it was supposed to be.

The workers, carefully extracted the box and last week, the whole school, along with some curious city officials waited with abated breath, as the box was opened - And, they were not disappointed!

In the 100-year capsule lay some books, a schedule of teacher salaries during that era, a letter addressed to the Mayor of San Francisco written by his 1910 counterpart and, most exciting of all, photos of the kids who attended the school during the time.

There was also a letter from one of the students, which amongst other things stated that thanks to the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Cleveland Elementary School was the only standing structure on the street. However, the writer was optimistic that by the time the capsule was found, the street would be lined up with mansions.

While Athens street is not lined up with mansions, it sure has become a great neighborhood with some really cool homes and of course, a great school - reputed to be amongst the best, in the city of San Francisco.


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  • AksaiteThursday, December 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm
    That's so cool! I wonder if any of those kids in the picture are alive, it would certainly be a surprise to be searching the web and come across this.
    • coolySunday, November 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm
      • coolySunday, November 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm
        • coolgirl555Monday, November 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm
          SO cool i love history!!!!!!!1
          • boboo
            bobooThursday, October 20, 2011 at 6:36 am
            • NINJADROPSWednesday, June 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm
              Thats so Ninja!
              • Denise RiderTuesday, June 14, 2011 at 3:28 am
                Wow that must be so cool!
                • vampire girlSaturday, May 21, 2011 at 9:46 am
                  can we plese mrs bump before we go to fourth grade
                  • find me in 3C Friday, May 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm
                    i agree with kelsea!
                    • dhygWednesday, April 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm




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