Emi McCollough ’22: During the month of March, workers discovered and saved an unadorned sealed copper box packed full of history from the demolition of the old Romeo Middle School.
But because the time capsule contained so many items, archivist Julie Oparka, who works at the Romeo Community Archives, needed more time to go through everything thoroughly.
So far Oparka still has not even scratched the surface of all the various documents placed in the time capsule.
The more recently analyzed documents ranged from paid bills to the staff’s salaries to even old newspapers of the Romeo Observer during the early 1920’s.
Analyzing everything placed in this time capsule takes some time for Oparka, but the amazing new discoveries remind Oparka exactly why she loves her job so much.
Of all the documents, the notes taken from a Truancy Officer spoke to Oparka the loudest. Here the Truancy Officer headed to students’ homes who were not attending school, and the story of a student named Oscar Page hit Oparka the hardest. His mother pleads poverty and Page works in place of his mother to make ends meet, so he can not attend school anymore. A harsh reality for many students and children during this time, this very sad and emotional story almost brought Oparka to tears.
The discovery of the 1927 time capsule left so much to uncover and these items help give us a sense of what past generations’ lives were like here in Romeo.
“It’s truly a look back in time which brought me and so many others closer to the people that once lived here in Romeo,” Oparka said.
With a lot of people unaware that the Romeo Community Archives even existed, the discovery of the 1927 time capsule brought attention to the Archives.
“The discovery of the time capsule helped show people who we are and what we have to offer,” Oparka said.
Even though Oparka still needs more time analysing every piece of information provided to it from past generations, what she has found so far does not disappoint. These countless documents continue to amaze Oparka and her colleagues as each piece contains tons of Romeo history.
Oparka loves seeing all the people interested in learning more about the time capsule, and to her surprise the box contains a lot more than you would expect.
You can see this historical collection for yourself by contacting the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ahead (586) 690-4890 to make sure staff will be available to assist you. Also for more information and photos visit: https://romeocommunityarchives.blogspot.com/