Saturday, Sept 8, 2018 3:30
~ Witness History ~
The public is invited to the opening of the 1918 Cornerstone and time capsule box of the 100-year-old building, originally named Racine-Kenosha Joint County Training School for Teachers, and later renamed Racine-Kenosha Teacher's College.
~ Cornerstone Opening ~
Removing the 100-yr-old box from the cornerstone
Opening the copper box time capsule and its contents!
Ceremony and dignitaries
Posted proclamations to mark this day
Exhibits of the history of the building
Meet descendants and family members related to the original 1918 board, committees and builders
Your presence remembered 100 years from now with the guest book placed back inside the future box
The Cornerstone Opening event
is at the corner of Hwy.11 and Hwy.45
925 15th Avenue, Union Grove, Wisconsin
The building is now the home of the Union Grove Village Municipal Center
On Sat. Sept 8, 2018:
"Hundreds witness history opening time capsule of the 1918 school for teachers, Union Grove, Wisconsin"
SEE TV Channel 4 Milwaukee's segment CLICK on this link:
THE COPPER BOX CONTENTS
Inside we found these eight items of 1918:
- The Racine Journal-News newspaper
- The Telegraph=Courier newspaper (of Kenosha)
(and note, yes it is a "=" not a hyphen)
- Racine Times-Call newspaper
- The Union Grove Enterprise newspaper
- Directory of Public Officials of Racine County 1918
- Directory of Public Officials of Kenosha County 1918
- the 1918-1919 student catalog of the
Racine-Kenosha Joint County Training School for Teachers
- a regular size business card from J.Z. Collier: who sold the
property that the school sits on, who was also a local
representative for one of the Racine newspapers
Watch for more info on these items~
Part of the story before the Sept 8, 2018 event:
100-Year-Old Cornerstone Time-Capsule Opening
Historic Racine-Kenosha Joint Training –Normal School for Teachers
~ Public Invited ~
Witness local history! The public is invited to a rare opportunity to be part of a traditionally historic ceremony: the opening of an original Cornerstone with a time capsule.
The cornerstone and time capsule box of the 100-year-old building in Union Grove, Wisconsin will be opened on Saturday, Sept 8, 2018; at 3:30; and the public is invited. This cornerstone represents Racine County and Kenosha County working together in the important endeavor of local education in the 1900’s.
In 1918, through a joint effort of the Racine County Board and the Kenosha County Board, this school was built by the taxpayers of both counties and was originally called “Racine-Kenosha Joint County Training School for Teachers,” known as the Normal School, and then renamed Racine-Kenosha Teacher’s College. The historic building has always served the pubic, and today is the Union Grove Municipal Building.
Racine & Kenosha Counties
The school has a connection to many people in the area, including teachers who studied there, children who were in the model school, board members from both counties, 82 rural schools that had “cadet teachers” (student teachers), certified teachers who taught at those little local school, and the thousands of children who were taught by these teachers.
Ceremony with Mystery
The Cornerstone Opening Ceremony will begin outside with an official welcome, a flag presentation by the Bixby-Hansen Post 171, and just as it was in 1918 at the laying of the cornerstone, there will be a singing of a stanza of America. Next the sealed copper box will be removed from the cornerstone where it has been for 100 years. The time capsule box will be carried, with ceremony, inside to the former gymnasium, now called the community room.
Guests, Union Grove officials, County Boards dignitaries of both counties, descendants and family members of the 1918 original organizers and founders will be recognized, connecting 1918 to 2018. Proclamations will be displayed, marking this historic day.
Guest Book to be Placed Back into Future Box
Visitors will definitely want to sign the guest book, because it will become a part of history, when it is placed inside the copper box and returned to the cornerstone for another 100 years. Visitors will can also help make history with their suggestions of other items that might go back into the box.
Opening the Time Capsule
Opening the sealed copper box and the removal the items will be the featured event. Removal of these historic contents will be done with careful preservation standards as well as a great deal of anticipation “What’s in the box is the mystery and question of the event. While there are traditional types of items found in cornerstones, no one living knows for sure what we will find! In the 1918 speech, when they laid the cornerstone, there were comments about the, then current, Great War (WWI), so perhaps there will be a connection to the War, among other things, we hope!” said Judith Schulz, cornerstone historian, and Cornerstone Committee co-chair.
“The citizens of 1918 who laid the cornerstone put these items inside the time capsule, meant to be found by future generations. Honoring that tradition, we will be opening the cornerstone and the sealed copper box, a look into our history,” said Marge Martin, History Seekers, and Cornerstone committee co-chair.
There is a large bronze plaque still on the wall inside naming 16 people involved with the building beginnings. The plaque names just one woman: Isabelle Swantz. She was the secretary of the original board and was later elected Racine County Superintendent of Schools in 1919, a high accomplishment in that era. Isabelle is the great aunt of Marge Martin, of the Cornerstone committee. The endless connections of 1918 to 2018 are stories unto themselves.
Schulz’s great grandfather, A.C.Kappel, was one of the contractors of the building in 1918 and named on the plaque. When the cornerstone was laid in 1918 the Master of Ceremonies was P.Walter Peterson, also named on the plaque, and who was also a lifelong friend of Kappel. Now, 100 years later, Kappel’s great granddaughter is part of the opening of the cornerstone as the MC.
Following the ceremony the items found inside the time capsule will be on display along with a special exhibit of the history of the building, contracts, original specs lists, floor plans, selected minutes, news articles, photographs,
proclamations by local governments marking this historic event, maps of the rural schools of Racine County and Kenosha County and memorabilia.
There are more than 30 people serving on the committee and as volunteers at the event.
People who were there in 1918
Cornerstone Committee members, have researched the 16 names on the plaque and others of the era, and are looking forward to meeting descendants and family members of the 1918 people who were instrumental in the founding of the school and constructing the building.
The names on the 1918 plaque, include J. J. Barrows, W. J. Callender, R. L. Cundy, M. H. Herzog, P. Walter Petersen, Judge C. E. Randall, F. O. Rowbottom, Thomas S. Scott, William W. Storms, Isabelle Swantz, George W. Waller, Richard A. Dowse, the architect: A. Arthur Guilbert, and the contractors: Andrew C. Kappel and the construction company Bongard & Christensen.
Others of prominent roles at the school’s beginning include: Rev. H. P. Fruhling, Edith McEachron, Mr. Overson, Assistant principal Blanche E. Roberts, Prof. A. J. Ruzicka, Emil Ruzicka, and Principal Arthur J. Smith.
More about attending
The event is presented by History Seekers of the Union Grove Area.
~ The building is handicap accessible. Parking is available next to the municipal building and nearby St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. The Cornerstone Opening is at 925 15th Avenue, Union Grove, Wisconsin; which is the corner of Hwy. 11 and 45.
This large plaque has been hanging inside the building for 100 years.
photo by Judith D. Schulz