Newspapers and business cards from 1913 were found in a cornerstone while the old M.V. Beattie Elementary was being demolished in Enderby.

Newspapers and business cards from 1913 were found in a cornerstone while the old M.V. Beattie Elementary was being demolished in Enderby.

Enderby school demolition leads to historic treasures

Crews demolishing the old M.V. Beattie Elementary unexpectedly discovered a time capsule while removing a 1913 cornerstone April 11.

A portal into Enderby’s past has been revealed.

Crews demolishing the old M.V. Beattie Elementary unexpectedly discovered a time capsule while removing a 1913 cornerstone April 11.

“It was a complete surprise,” said Carl Cooper, M.V. Beattie principal.

Among the items found inside the cornerstone were a business card from contractor Chas. Hardy, a business card from contractor Blanchard and English, Henry Delome’s signature on a piece of paper, a piece of brick with illegible writing and a chunk of leather with writing, “Opened and shut by Scotty and Frenchy, 23 May 1913.”

There was also an envelope with five Enderby newspapers from April 1912 to May 1913.

Cooper gives credit to the demolition workers for finding the historic artifacts.

“They took some care and didn’t just go knocking things down,” he said.

Word of the find quickly spread through the new school, which opened in December.

“There was a little bit of buzz. Some of the kids were quite intrigued,” said Cooper.

The items are currently on display in a trophy case and while some will be preserved in the school’s archives, others will be placed in a series of time capsules that will be opened for the next 25 to 100 years.

The newspapers and the insight they provide into Enderby’s past will likely be incorporated into social studies classes.

“We will take a photocopy of them and share it with the kids so they have a sense of their community,” said Cooper.

Besides the items in the cornerstone, an original blueprint of the school was found in the basement during demolition.

“There have been some nice little treasures along the way,” said Cooper.

Construction of the original M.V. Beattie began in the fall of 1912 and the cornerstone was laid in May 1913. The school opened Jan. 1, 1914.