Name plate, bricks, and a time capsule saved at Rippey school

Time capsule reclaimed; will be opened at the next reunion

~by Mary Weaver                                                                                                                                                   special to GreeneCountyNewsOnline

The Rippey Consolidated School building, erected in 1921, has been demolished.

Rippey demo time capsule
photo by Lori Van Gundy DeMoss

The saving grace of the demolition was discovered Tuesday, Sept. 30, as the 1920 date plaque near the front door was removed. Graduates and children attending elementary classes in the building will remember it was on the east wall at the bottom of the staircase and listed the members of the board of education; the construction company etc. As the cornerstone was carefully cut away and lifted out a sealed copper vault measuring 16 inches by 9 inches was a discovered.

When the community heard about the “strong box,” and the information went out on social media, primarily Facebook, all wondered about what the box contained. Local history buff Jean Borgeson found a reference to the vault in the “Rippey History,” printed in 1970 for the Rippey Centennial……”At the time of the laying of the cornerstone in the new building, there was placed a copper box, containing the following articles…

 “17 copies of the Rippey Booster containing items of events leading up to the structure; copies of the Jefferson Bee, Jefferson Herald, Perry Chief, Perry Tribune, state papers both daily and political, 30 views of Rippey including the old schoolhouse and the one we are now using; records of the school board from the start of the public school teaching in Rippey; secretaries’ report which was furnished by A. E. Jensen, secretary of the board; a complete personnel of the present board and its officers together with the men who are constructing the new building; treasurer’s report and literature and reports that cover every activity in Rippey and community; also a record of the men who took part in the late World War,; those who took part in the Civil War; various stamps, postage and revenue, coins, and money and many other articles. Over these articles was spread a picture of both Cox and Harding, nominees for president and on top of these were placed four of our country’s flags, each containing 48 states.”

Only memories remain for the Rippey graduates and East Greener’s attending elementary school. There were antics and issues that students, teachers, cooks, janitors, and bus drivers will (mostly) fondly hold about plays, and proms, musicals, and recess, and the bus rides, and the overall education that was provided and received.

The gymnasium, now called the Wisecup gymnasium, constructed in 1959, remains intact for use by the Greene County Schools.

Debris remains. Bricks will be crushed and ground for re-cycling; some will be saved and will be available to Rippey and East Greene alumni or those with a bond to the school in the future.

The signage at the top of the building, “Rippey Consolidated School” was cut away and lowered intact for a school memorial to be erected in the city of Rippey. The doors and windows were salvaged by the demolition crew. Slate boards were salvaged and given to the Friends of Rippey for future Christmas decorations, with a remembrance on the reverse side showing they were from the Rippey School. These will be for sale.

Rippey time capsulePictured Thursday with the copper vault is Greene County Schools grounds/transportation director Shawn DeMoss. His great-grandfather Claude Johnson was a school board director when the building opened in 1921. He has overseen the demolition of the building for the newly formed Greene County district.

In talking with Verdina Odin Hastings Rippey High school Class of 1958, co-facilitator of the Rippey alumni, the box will be opened during the next alumni party to be held Saturday at noon of Memorial Day Weekend 2015. The contents will be available for all to see at that time.

The Rippey school pre 1957
The Rippey school pre 1957

Pictures of the demolition are under the Features and More tab on GreeneCountyNewsOnline.

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