From left, Northport-East Northport Schools Superintendent Dave Moyers, school board president...

From left, Northport-East Northport Schools Superintendent Dave Moyers, school board president Lorenzo Licopoli and trustee Carol Taylor open a time capsule buried in February 1924 in a cornerstone of the district’s William J. Brosnan Building. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Northport-East Northport school district students got a look at objects their peers from a century ago buried in a time capsule that were unearthed recently from a school building.

In a packed cafeteria in the William J. Brosnan Building Thursday evening, district officials opened a copper box to reveal contents that had been buried in February 1924 in a cornerstone of the building and excavated in May.

One by one, items such as a Bible, a pennant emblazoned with the word "Northport," a flag with 48 stars, a handbook on school rules and a PTA yearbook were lifted from the oxidized box. Also included were a directory of student names, a copy of The New York Times and a local newspaper and some coins.

Decades of water damage to the paper items were evident, Northport Historical Society executive director Terry Reid said. Still, that did not dampen the excitement in the room as the items were revealed.

“Everyone rushed up to see it and take pictures,” she said. “Everyone in that room had a sense of how important this was, and a real sense of curiosity and wonder.”

Earlier this year, district officials began preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Brosnan building, Assistant Superintendent for Business Bob Howard said.

Built as the Union Free Public School for grades K through 12, district officials said it had a student population of 500 when it opened.

As celebration plans ramped up to commemorate the milestone, the Northport Historical Society and some students in Northport High School's chapter of the Rho Kappa National Social Studies honor society began looking through school district archives. There they found a document and photo that mentioned a time capsule buried somewhere on the Laurel Avenue property.

Using the photo, district officials were able to figure out where to look, Howard said.

“We drilled exploratory holes into the stone and with cameras found a cavity and found the time capsule,” Howard said. “It was definitely untouched for 100 years.”

Jack Donop, 16, an 11th-grader and a Rho Kappa member, said it’s been a cool experience to be involved in a project that is connecting the community's past with the present.

“It’s almost empowering that something that long ago is something we’re talking about today,” he said.

Claire Moore, a Northport High School social studies teacher who is the adviser for the Rho Kappa chapter, said seeing the students' excitement is a highlight of her career.

“Sometimes teaching history can be very abstract and it’s not always easy to motivate a junior in high school,” she said. “But this was not me telling the kids what to do. The kids took this and ran with it.”

The district is determining the best way to display the items found in the capsule.

Donop said he’s looking forward to contributing to a similar experience for future students.

“I’m looking forward to discussing what will possibly be in another time capsule for us,” he said.

Huntington Town Historian Robert Hughes said time capsules are windows into the past that show what was important and interesting at the time.

“It’s also what they thought we would think was interesting from their time,” he said.

He said in this digital age time capsules could be more important than ever.

“You always wonder with digital pictures and documents how much is going to survive into the future if there’s nothing tangible or physical for people to hold on to read and see,” he said.

Northport-East Northport school district students got a look at objects their peers from a century ago buried in a time capsule that were unearthed recently from a school building.

In a packed cafeteria in the William J. Brosnan Building Thursday evening, district officials opened a copper box to reveal contents that had been buried in February 1924 in a cornerstone of the building and excavated in May.

A flag with 48 stars was among objects found in...

A flag with 48 stars was among objects found in the time capsule. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

One by one, items such as a Bible, a pennant emblazoned with the word "Northport," a flag with 48 stars, a handbook on school rules and a PTA yearbook were lifted from the oxidized box. Also included were a directory of student names, a copy of The New York Times and a local newspaper and some coins.

Decades of water damage to the paper items were evident, Northport Historical Society executive director Terry Reid said. Still, that did not dampen the excitement in the room as the items were revealed.

“Everyone rushed up to see it and take pictures,” she said. “Everyone in that room had a sense of how important this was, and a real sense of curiosity and wonder.”

Earlier this year, district officials began preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Brosnan building, Assistant Superintendent for Business Bob Howard said.

Built as the Union Free Public School for grades K through 12, district officials said it had a student population of 500 when it opened.

Also included in the time capsule was a copy of a...

Also included in the time capsule was a copy of a local newspaper. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

As celebration plans ramped up to commemorate the milestone, the Northport Historical Society and some students in Northport High School's chapter of the Rho Kappa National Social Studies honor society began looking through school district archives. There they found a document and photo that mentioned a time capsule buried somewhere on the Laurel Avenue property.

Using the photo, district officials were able to figure out where to look, Howard said.

“We drilled exploratory holes into the stone and with cameras found a cavity and found the time capsule,” Howard said. “It was definitely untouched for 100 years.”

Jack Donop, 16, an 11th-grader and a Rho Kappa member, said it’s been a cool experience to be involved in a project that is connecting the community's past with the present.

“It’s almost empowering that something that long ago is something we’re talking about today,” he said.

A pennant emblazoned with the word "Northport."

A pennant emblazoned with the word "Northport." Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Claire Moore, a Northport High School social studies teacher who is the adviser for the Rho Kappa chapter, said seeing the students' excitement is a highlight of her career.

“Sometimes teaching history can be very abstract and it’s not always easy to motivate a junior in high school,” she said. “But this was not me telling the kids what to do. The kids took this and ran with it.”

The district is determining the best way to display the items found in the capsule.

Donop said he’s looking forward to contributing to a similar experience for future students.

“I’m looking forward to discussing what will possibly be in another time capsule for us,” he said.

Huntington Town Historian Robert Hughes said time capsules are windows into the past that show what was important and interesting at the time.

“It’s also what they thought we would think was interesting from their time,” he said.

He said in this digital age time capsules could be more important than ever.

“You always wonder with digital pictures and documents how much is going to survive into the future if there’s nothing tangible or physical for people to hold on to read and see,” he said.

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