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Lowell Elementary: Time capsule captivates students

Lowell Elementary School student Blaine Plattner (left) carries a time capsule to the top floor of the school Thursday. Plattner, joined by Elizabeth Knutson, Veronika Proell and Abi Ryan placed the capsule in the wall next to the new elevator in the school. (Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls)

It'll be a few decades before summer students at Lowell Elementary School find out the results of a summer project.

Prompted by construction going on at the school this summer, students decided to bury a time capsule in a nook or cranny in the school.

School secretary Sue Schmidt said a time capsule from 1912 was found at the school in 1990 after a tree near the playground was dug up. That capsule featured a handwritten letter and signatures from the roughly 30 students who participated in the project.

Perhaps the most significant detail from the 1912 letter is the word "Titanic," most likely a reference to the April 1912 sinking of the "Titanic."

The 2015 time capsule features handwritten notes from each student, a group photo of the students, stickers and a Wendy's coupon. Schmidt tried to fit a T-shirt into the water bottle time capsule, but it wouldn't fit.

Taylor Demuth and Cassara Tideman took their first- through fourth-grade students to the top floor of the school where an elevator is being installed. Addressing her class, Demuth said "we're very excited about this, it's very cool."

While queued up and waiting to proceed to the top floor, one of Demuth's students proudly said she had her picture taken "all the time," and she had recently gotten a photo of herself at the Crow Wing County Fair with butterflies all over her in the butterfly tent.

As the students gathered around the under-construction elevator, third-grader Blaine Plattner did the honors of placing the time capsule in a cavity in the wall. With the excitement over, students returned to their classrooms to await the final bell on the final day of summer school.

SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 218-855-5859 or Follow on Twitter at

Spenser Bickett

Spenser Bickett covers the Brainerd City Council and education. A native of the Twin Cities, Bickett attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he majored in journalism with a minor in political science. After graduation, he worked for the International Falls Journal as a staff writer before coming to Brainerd.

(218) 855-5859