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Republican archive aids in finding Coultrap cornerstone info

Published: Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – When the old Coultrap school finally was torn down this summer, its cornerstone, containing a time capsule, was found and set aside.

Nancy Bell, a children’s librarian at the Geneva Public Library, said she decided to use the new, online digital Geneva Republican archive from 1878-2011 to find out what was inside.

“What a perfect tool for all these people who are trying to track stuff down,” Bell said.

Coultrap was built in 1922 as a new high school. Bell recalled that her grandfather was in a photograph that summer. She narrowed her search and found the Geneva Republican coverage of the time capsule and cornerstone to Aug. 14, 1922.

“The article described everything in it – so much for the big secret,” Bell said. “But it shows what the Republican archive can do for people.”

The short news item notes that a metallic box was placed inside a block of white granite.

The box contains copies of the organization of the high school district, the history of Geneva schools and copies of the Geneva Republican, as well as a copy of what the building would look like when it was to be completed and opened as a school in 1923.

Geneva School District 304 board president Mark Grosso said the cornerstone time capsule is being kept in the administration office. Grosso said it will not be opened until a rededication ceremony is held sometime next month to rename the administration center, at 227 N. Fourth St., as the Coultrap Educational Services Center. 

Officials decided to rename the center in honor of Harry Coultrap, the district’s first superintendent, and for whom the former Coultrap school was named.

“We have not set a date yet, but it will be in September,” Grosso said.

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