Incredible Century-Old Secret Hidden Behind Oklahoma High School Chalkboards

By | September 30, 2015

During the winter months of 1917, one classroom in Oklahoma City received new blackboards. And as the years passed, with a couple of renovations here and there, the boards were forgotten, undisturbed, and undiscovered for nearly a century.

But a recent remodeling Emerson High School clasrooms has led to the boards' rediscovery. Take a look...

When renovation began on the four classrooms of Emerson High, the workers didn't expect they would discover a slice of local history.

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Oklahmoma City Public Schools/Emerson High School

The classrooms are to be installed with new whiteboards and smartboards, so the contractors had to remove the old chalkboards. But when they began to pull the outdated boards away, they made an amazing discovery...

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Beneath the current boards are layers of chalkboards, hidden away, undisturbed for nearly a hundred years! The old chalkboards have century-old writings and drawings on them. These writings and drawings on the board below shows us a December calendar and a turkey which marks Thanksgiving.

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

This wheel of multiplication gives us a rare glimpse into the teaching methods used during the time. Principal Sherry Kishore told The Oklahoman, “I have never seen that technique in my life."

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

This one reads, "I give my head, my heart, and my life to my God and One nation indivisible with justice for all."

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

The writings and drawings on the board in each of the four rooms mirrored the "aligned curriculum in 1917".

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

The 'lessons' on the board might be unfamiliar to the younger generations, but they certainly resonate with older folks. Principal Kishore told The Oklahoman what it was like showing her 85-year-old mother the boards: “She just stood there and cried. She said it was exactly like her classroom was when she was going to school.”

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

Two dates were found on the boards: November 30, 1917, and December 4, 1917, which actually predate Principal Kishore's mother by 13 years.

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

It's not clear whether the writings and drawings were done by the students or by the teachers.

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

This board reads "My Rules To Keep Clean".

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

Cinthea Comer, an English teacher, told The Oklahoman, “It was so eerie because the colors were so vibrant it looked like it was drawn the same day. To know that it was drawn 100 years ago... it’s like you’re going into a looking glass into the past.”

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Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman

Emerson High School has seen many renovations throughout the years, but during all those improvements, workers have only found broken pipes and wires.

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Twitter/Oklahoma City Public Schools

So when they discovered this remarkable slice of local American history, the community was truly delighted. Oklahoma City and the school district are already working to preserve these beautiful boards.

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Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman