The Box

We don’t know what’s in the box. 5½” by 8½” by 12”, metal, and welded shut, it has sat in the principal’s office for more than a decade. The story goes that it was unearthed behind a wall of the old C.E. Mason Elementary building when a heavy iron plaque was relocated years ago.


The box weighs six pounds, for my analytical friends, though this is ACMA, so I should probably simply say that it’s the color of winter wheat still soaked after a morning rain.

Rumor has it that the box is a time capsule, though from when no one seems to know.

Orestes Yambouranis, who was a teacher at Arts & Communication before it was an academy, remembered that the custodian, Will Templar, found it and gave to the principal. When, he couldn’t quite remember.

Knowing that the bulldozers and a wrecking ball are rumbling toward campus this summer, I dusted off the box and hope to gather together some students and open it in February. It’s 2019, so I think it would be fun to livestream. Who knows who might want in on a little ACMA adventure.

Until then, I’ll put it where people can take a look, maybe make a guess as to when it was put in the ground and what we might find inside. I can honestly say that even with the research I’ve been doing on ACMA and C.E. Mason, reaching back to the 1940s and its construction, I have no idea which group of Masonites or ACMAniacs filled this box and tucked it away.

Heck, I’m not even sure if it is a time capsule.

So if anyone reading this post has a memory of the box, please let me know! If anyone has a guess, or a dollop of curiosity, come back in a month or so and I’ll post what we find inside. Knowing our little school, it could be anything.

5 thoughts on “The Box

  1. I think I remember hearing about when they found it… it was in the early 2000’s (after I graduated, but while the school was still in its rough “transition” years). I believe it was found over by the side entrance at the corner near Center st. when they were doing some sort of repairs — I feel like I read something about it, but would be hard pressed to find where.
    I know what I would love for it to be — a time capsule from when the building was originally built, with memento’s and letters from the community members it was going to serve. The historian piece of me can’t wait to see what is inside, and wonders about the history that it has seen!

      • Bjorn, the box was found when they painted the exterior. Paula Kinney was Principal. I think it was located down by the old counseling office. It was under an old plaque on the outside wall. I remember it being brought to the main office.

  2. Pingback: 6. Fall Planning | bjornpaige

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