After months of an 'Indiana Jones' style search, Deerfield Elementary School officials unveiled a 50-year-old time capsule from when the school was built in 1962.
The anxious crowd of students and staff whispered the treasure hunt could be a bust when the stone holding the capsule seemed like it wouldn't come out, but every time the stone moved just a little, the crowd yelled in excitement.
Finally, after more than an hour and using many different tools, the masons cut, wiggled and chipped away at the surrounding bricks to pull the 1962 stone out last Wednesday morning, as students, teachers and principal Kelly Salazar watched in awe.
"I'm really happy," Salazar said when the capsule was found. "Could you imagine if we were out here for all these hours and there was nothing."
One student from each class, or about 25 students, was picked to watch the unveiling. The rest of the school was brought into the auditorium in groups to see the items throughout the rest of the school day.
Buried when Deerfield Elementary School was built in 1962, the small box was stuffed behind a hollow stone and welded shut. Each item was wrapped in tin foil and slowly unwrapped by a select few students.
The capsule was only a rumor until Salazar went on the hunt for it at the beginning of the school year.
Salazar searched through old library archives to pinpoint the exact location. But back in September, the only clue she found in her research was a content list title, "Articles Placed in Corner Stone Box."
The stone was believed to be behind the 1962, where it was found, but others said they though it was buried in the original foundation or under the new wing of the school.
Salazar asked for help from residents' who grew up and went to Deerfield to find the capsule but no one could confirm its location.
"I just want someone confirm its location before I put holes in the school," she said.
The elementary school principal finally broke the case when she came across the architect's original plans, which detailed a hollow spot behind the 1962 stone.
The school plans to replace the time capsule with their own 2012 items and more detailed instructions on where it will be buried this time.
The capsule will be filled with items students would like to bury in the hopes they would be uncovered on the school's 75th anniversary in 2037.
The contents found in the time capsule included:
• Children's impressions of Deerfield School
• Speech by principal on back to school night
• Recording of sixth grade songs at the dedication
• Report by Mr. Roy Anderson
• Copy of the Millburn Item
• Fifth- and sixth-grade newspaper
• First-grade newspaper
• Colored slides of faculty, school and custodian
• A paper by eight-year-old Debbie Moody, grand-daughter of Mr. Roy Anderson
• First Grade Pre-Primer Book
• Sample of reading game used to learn phonics
• PTA Hand Book
• Copy of brochure taxpayers received at the voting for the bond issue
"We're going to have to set up a museum for all this," Deerfield's principal Kelly Salazar said.