Louisiana School for the Deaf Opens Time Capsule From 1939

Inside were dolls, old coins and copies of the school's magazine.

ByABC News
April 5, 2016, 2:19 PM

— -- In the winter of 1939, students and teachers at the Louisiana School for the Deaf buried a time capsule in their building before moving into a new facility. On Monday, the box was finally opened 77 years later.

Over the years the building has been home to the Baton Rouge Police Department and more recently the Department of Corrections.

According to Donna Alleman, the school's director, Houston Moss, president of the Louisiana Association of the Deaf, had been driving by the facility when he saw construction work being done.

"[He] came to me and said we have to tell them because of the construction,” Alleman told ABC News. Department of Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc and his staff jumped on board with the search that began two years ago.

In 2002 another group had unsuccessfully tried to locate the time capsule in conjunction with the 150-year anniversary of the school. But on March 25, a drill bit struck the copper box that contained the time capsule, which was hidden underneath layers of new flooring. Nathan Harvey, an employee with the corrections department, crawled into the plasterboard and, with the help of inmate Jason Macon, pulled the box out.

Inside were dolls, old coins, a blank diploma, copies of the school magazine "The Pelican" -- even wood samples from every kind of tree in the state.

“I don’t have words for it...it was an honor to be the person to remove the contents of that box that were placed in there 77 years ago,” Alleman said.

The box is currently in safekeeping at the school, waiting to have the rest of its contents removed and examined.