Unofficial Home Page of the Highland Jr. High School
(aka Highland Middle School)
Class of 1966 Millenium Time Capsule

since we found it..!

We found it..!

Here are the articles from the Daily Herald (Lake County edition) and Libertyville Review.

(Click on the articles for larger views...)
Daily Herald, June 3, Lake County edition... Daily Herald, June 16, Lake County edition...
Libertyville Review, June 8, 2000 cover... Libertyville Review, June 8, 2000 page 9 Libertyville Review, June 8, 2000 page 14...
Click here to see the Lakeland Press News article.
Click here to go to the time capsule photo album.
In addition to assorted memorabilia, maps, etc., the time capsule contained essays from each student in the class on what they expected life to be like in the year 2000 and a letter from each student to a person of their choosing (presumably). As long as we need a guinea pig, here are my essay and letter from the time capsule. Any other volunteers?
Click on any of the pages below for a larger view...
Essay, page 1... Essay, page 2 Letter...
The class of 1966 at Highland Jr. High School buried a time capsule as part of a social studies project in Mr. Donald Zwier's class. For over 30 years, this time capsule popped into my memory at random. For most of that time I wasn't sure I didn't imagine the whole thing. Calls to the school office afforded no help. I'd lost touch with nearly everyone from the school. I just wasn't sure how to start. Even a couple visits to the school over the last year or so just to look around didn't help much. My recollection was of working on the assignment, not burying the result. Then last year my mother dragged out my 8th grade yearbook and there, big as life, on page 19 of the 1965-1966 Highland Piper was the note shown here. Note in the 1965-1966 Highland Piper... Suddenly I wasn't imagining it any more, but wasn't much closer to unearthing it either!

A couple weeks ago I sat down to see what I could learn using the internet. In short order I stumbled over the 30th reunion committee from Libertyville High School, some of whom were in the 1966 class at Highland. Lo and behold there are people out there whose memories, like mine, just wouldn't let go of this assignment (and they say teachers can't have a lasting effect). I was able to find a way to contact Mr. Zwier (again using the internet) and on August 31, 1999 I called him. His recollection is that the time capsule (actually a potato chip can covered with roofing tar) was dropped next to the foundation of the new addition just prior to that space being backfilled. Mr. Zwier visited the school recently, but things didn't look like he remembered (happens to me all the time). He does think though that the most likely corner has some small evergreen trees nearby. What isn't clear is which S.E. corner and of which room.
This first picture is an aerial view of the school. Aerial view of Highland School... North is at the top. Rockland School is to the right, out of view. I've forgotten what constituted the new addition in 1966 and what may have been added since. People a little closer to the town and the building could probably help a lot. I walked around one day last winter and convinced myself that the S.E. corner of the new shop room was the corner immediately to the left of the main entrance under a rather substantial wheelchair ramp. Mr. Zwier doesn't think that's the corner. I hope he's right.
The picture below is a close-up of another potential S.E. corner. S.E. corner of Highland School... This is at the lower right of the above picture and is the corner closest to Rockland School. Whether it was the new shop room in 1966 is the question. I would appreciate anyone's better recollections. Please feel free to send e-mail to the address below. I'll keep this site as up to date as possible. I plan to walk around the school again on Saturday, September 11 during the 30th reunion planning picnic to see if any of this new information helps jog my memory.
If memory serves me correctly, buried in this time capsule are essays written by the class about what we thought life might be like in the year 2000. It occurred to me while searching for information to unravel this mystery that never in my wildest imagination would I have conjured up anything like the internet.
September 14, 1999: A few people gathered at Adler Park on Saturday, September 12 to talk about the upcoming 30th reunion of the Libertyville High School Class of 1970. Most of us were also in the Class of 1966 at Highland so the time capsule was a hot topic of conversation. What's interesting is that all of us remember the time capsule assignment to varying degrees, but none of us remembers burying it. Unfortunately, our collective memories are no better than our individual ones. We either don't know what constituted the new addition, where the new shop class was, whether the spot was marked or even whether it was buried inside the building or out. Someone suggested it might be under the giant hornet mosaic or painting (???) that used to be in the hallway floor. It seems our great minds are canceling each other out. We needed help. I left Adler Park feeling pretty sure the spot is the above S.E. corner. Larry Fisher contacted Don Zwier, whose memory seems to be getting better. This is good...Larry was starting to question whether it was buried at all. Mr. Zwier seems also to be converging on the above S.E. corner. According to Larry, Mr. Zwier said this -- "Yes, the east end of the building was added on to, to create two new rooms. We dropped the capsule next to the foundation prior to being backfilled. The pines are relatively new. A good metal detector should be able to detect the can near the corner of the building..." This afternoon, I talked to John McCormick. Mr. McCormick is also a graduate of Highland (different year), spouse of one of our classmates, currently teaches Applied Technology at Highland, and teaches in the suspect classroom. I'd say this makes him the de facto expert whether he wants the job or not. According to Mr. McCormick, two classrooms were added to the east end of the school in 1965-66 in addition to those that most of us remember to the north. The south side classroom on the east end, i.e. the S.E. corner, was built as a shop room. In later years it was an orchestra room and is now the computer lab were Mr. McCormick teaches. Some of the confusion stems from people not remembering this east end as having been added at the time. It seems like as credible a place as any to start looking. We're not sure whether a metal detector will work. It may be fooled by re-bar in the foundation, but it's probably worth a try. Before any of that we need to figure out how to coordinate activities with the school. I have visions of our showing up on June 2, 2000 with picks and shovels only to be turned away by police in riot gear. I'll be working on that angle next. Stay tuned...
September 16, 1999: Jeanette Koch has scoured the archives for references to the time capsule in the Independent Register from March through June 1966, but with no luck. Apparently we kept this thing a secret from ourselves and the public...zut alors...
September 22, 1999: I talked with Mr. Paul Kremkau, the principal of Highland Middle School, this afternoon. He assured me that he and the school are willing and anxious to help us in our cause to locate and excavate the time capsule from 1966. Highland's class of 2000 may take the opportunity to bury a time capsule of their own in the same location. I encouraged him to have them mark the location a little better than we did! He also thought it possible there could be some new construction in the vicinity of the southeast corner at about the time of our proposed dig in the form of new classrooms, a facelift to existing ones or some combination. However, this is very tentative. If so, it might facilitate our digging, but our digging can take place regardless. This is very good news and I appreciate the support Mr. Kremkau voiced very much. Now I need to see if Don Zwier has any recollection about the depth to which our capsule may be buried. For reference, barring any unforseen snow days, the last full day of school next spring at Highland is June 1. As always...stay tuned for more...
September 26, 1999: I called Don Zwier again to ask about the depth he thought the can was buried. As best he can recall it's 2 to 3 feet down. He also added it was a Jay's potato chip can so I guess if we find a Frito-Lay can covered with roofing tar we should put it back! I don't know what else to add. We seem pretty well settled on the southeast corner of the structure (the one with the evergreens), the school is supportive, and there are no other ideas surfacing. So until the date gets closer or someone has credible proof that we're all wrong, it seems like we have a plan. There is an undercurrent from some of us (present company included) that think it might be appropriate to delay the time capsule dig to coincide more closely with the reunion activities in July. It would be a nice addition to the reunion. People traveling long distances might do so once, but probably not twice. We'll discuss it over the next few months and if you have any thoughts on the subject let me know. I'll keep this page up-to-date if there is news from any conversations I or anyone else have with the school, teachers or classmates. I will also add any revelations arising from upcoming Libertyville High School 30th reunion committee meetings. And by all means, if you have anything to add, just e-mail me and I'll add it.
January 1, 2000: Cheryl Thuente (Deetjen) sent me the program from the dedication of the new addition at Highland and the floor plan. Click the appropriate links to see them. They didn't do much for my memory except to confirm how bad it is. The program from the dedication rings no bells at all which is a little discouraging, since having played in the band, I'm sure I was there.
March 2, 2000: I took a field trip to Libertyville on Saturday (Feb 26) to see what I could learn about the time capsule using a metal detector. Unfortunately it wasn't much. I got a really strong indication along both walls at the southeast corner of the building, but it was along the whole length of the walls, not a small area close to the corner. Presumably there's metal either along the wall or inside the wall, e.g. re-bar, that masks the presence of a lowly potato chip can.
Note from Linda Fisher - March 27, 2000: Vicki, Cheryl, Marilyn, Larry and I made the trip (to Highland). We're all in agreement now that it's at the southeast corner of the school. Too bad none of us clearly remembers being there when it was placed. Seemed funny (?) that Mr. Zwier remembered better than we did...anyway, that's what we're sticking with! We agreed that we'll also stop by there before the 2nd and bring a heavy duty metal detector, as Marilyn thinks it wasn't necessarily next to the building.
Note from Cheryl Thuente (Deetjen) - March 27, 2000: Vicki and Linda have probably already told you this, but I think we're all in agreement that the time capsule is most likely buried in the southeast corner of the school. It seems logical that it would be between the two evergreen plants, but we should not rule out anywhere from the building to the parkway. We're thinking time to get the metal detector out again.
Note from Vicki Martin - March 27, 2000: Marilyn has volunteered to negotiate with the school, and she thinks that we will have to replace grass with sod or some form of professional landscaping. Let's talk to Rod. Marilyn also has spoken with reporter from the Herald because they did a story on her mother and Langworthy's closing. More for meeting when you return.
Updated: June 26, 2000
Please e-mail Thomas H. Nicol with any information you might have.