100-year-old blackboards with lesson plans found behind Oklahoma high school wall


Contractors renovating classrooms at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City found chalk lessons from 1917 behind the walls.

Delicate pieces of history were found hiding in the walls of Emerson High School.

“Kitchen sauce 24 cents, that’s fricking cool,” said Emerson High School Principal Sherry Kishore.

The school’s being renovated. Contractors planned to find a number of problems inside the walls, but they didn’t plan to find treasures.

“Well first of all, I got goosebumps and then I got tears in my eyes and then I sat in here and just stared because it’s really like, it was like walking into a time capsule,” Kishore said.

Behind the walls of classrooms like Cinthea Comer’s 10th grade English classroom were lessons from decades past.

“We have this ship and the rock with 1620 and then we have the log cabin,” Comer said.

“They had been discussing Thanksgiving; they’re talking about the history of the pilgrims,” Kishore said.

The teachers used exquisite, colorful drawings and beautiful penmanship, all using chalk.

“When you walk into these rooms, it’s like they just left the lesson, and they’re expecting to come back the next day and start again,” Kishore said.

It’s a look at a time most of us have never seen, a time nearly 100 years ago.

“And you walk in and you see 1917 in front of you with the way that they taught lessons then,” Kishore said. “It was very emotional for me.”

“It’s like a looking glass into the teachings of 1917, and it’s just so amazing how well preserved it is,” Comer said.

While there’s no definitive proof the lessons are from 1917, the evidence is hard to refute.

“I love this. It says, ‘I give my head, my heart and my life to my God and one nation indivisible with justice for all,'” Comer said.

It’s history the district says it will work to preserve.

“I think seeing this reminds them how far we’ve come and actually what teaching is all about,” Kishore said.


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