I’m finding the hundred-year-old class photos that came out of the Cleveland Elementary School time capsule yesterday really pretty haunting. The box full of letters, photos, and books was placed behind the building’s cornerstone by San Francisco Mayor P.H. “Pinhead” McCarthy in 1910.

The Bay Citizen and San Francisco Chronicle have put up two really good ones.

Here’s our own slideshow:

KGO has video showing more of what came out of the capsule:

The Chronicle explains how the box full of ancient mementos was discovered:

Former Cleveland student and now school volunteer John Weidinger discovered the time capsule’s existence while researching the history of the 100-year-old school.

The capsule was mentioned briefly in a San Francisco Call newspaper story at the time, saying then-Mayor P.J. “Pinhead” McCarthy placed the box behind the cornerstone after the children sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It didn’t say what was inside.

“Had I not found that one sentence, maybe we might have lost that part of San Francisco history,” Weidinger said Wednesday moments before he pulled the contents out of the box in front of the students.

During the school’s winter break, district carpenters cut around the cornerstone and confirmed the box existed. It took two more days to drill the box out of concrete while protecting the cornerstone.

Haunting Photos From Cleveland Elementary School Time Capsule 27 January,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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