1921 Mantorville School Celebration

This weekend was very exciting for us. We were a part of opening the time capsule of the 1921 building that was once the Mantorville School. It was imbedded in the cornerstone. ImageWhen the cornerstone was removed, the bottom of the time capsule was pretty rusted and had a couple of holes in it. The rest of it was cemented into the stone. There were several documents and a photo in it. The most amazing part to me was the letter from them, probably the school board or superintendent, to US. The letter explained to us why they built the school and how important they felt it was to educated our young people. It was so touching. They went on to explain that even though building supplies were expensive at the time, it still was important enough to go ahead and do it right. The building was state of the art. It was to have cost $41,000 but ended up costing $18,000 more. The bond referendum was also in there and other documentation that will be studied in more controlled spaces.

Several months ago, Kent and Carole Keller, who owned the property, called me to see if I could help them organize a closing celebration for that section of the school property. The whole thing has been purchased by Dodge County for expansion. It sits across the street from the rest of the county property and is ideal for expansion. As an aside, it was me, when I sat on the county board,  that pushed us into reopening discussion of the much needed (and much bitched about and nothing much being done about it) expansion. But I digress (again). All the buildings can be repurposed except for this 1921 section. The oldest part. I said yes and pulled poor John into the project.

After several long lunches with the Kellers, getting an idea of what they were thinking and a fairly good budget, off we went. What we came up was a community open house. The part I worried about the most was getting the word out. Posters and postcards. News articles in the local newspapers. Gallons of coffee with the locals at the coffee shops–who love to share (aka gossip). To make a long story short: It was a raving success. Even the weather cooperated. We figure that 250-300 people came. The short program had at least 150.

ImageThis is me as the mistress of ceremonies.

ImageAnd this is Kent Keller on the right reading the letter and John Olive on the left. Mary Ann Bucher, my friend and director of the Dodge County Historical Society in front.

Suffice it to say, it was a fabulous day and so glad we are on the other side of it all. Now I HAVE GOT TO GET to costuming the October show for the theater company. Yikes…




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