Saturday, October 9, 2010

All Hail To The Class Of 1952


During the last week of August I participated in another Passport In Time project. The purpose of this project was to find evidence/artifacts related to the 1849 migration of pioneers from Arkansas to California on the trail that came to be known as the Cherokee Trail. The area we were searching, with metal detectors, was a very remote area in Wyoming along the border with Colorado. The closest town to our search area was Laramie and it was about 35 miles to the east.

On the third day or our search I found the high school class ring pictured above. It was about three inches down in the dirt in a wooded area. In the picture you can plainly see the “G” on the top of the ring, presumably indicating the school’s name started with “G”. On the panels next to the “G” is engraved the class year of 1952 and then on the panels to the outside of the class year are the initials C P which is presumably the initials of the owner. In the same general area we found horse shoes, mule shoes and wagon parts but nothing else modern except a few empty rifle cartridges. How the heck did this ring get there and who is/was the owner?ring5

Artifacts found on these projects are normally recorded and then left in place unless they are historically important. This ring certainly is not historically important but I was intrigued. I’ve heard a lot of stories of metal detectors finding and returning personal property to owners who thought their prized possession was long gone and I wanted to give it a shot. The Forest Service Archaeologist agreed to let me keep the ring for a while and try to find the owner….who, if she were still alive would be about 76 years old.

To make a long story short, I have contacted every public high school in Wyoming and Colorado that starts with the letter G. Amazingly, all were able to check their records and tell me that there was no girl student in the class of 1952 with the initials C P. I also checked but found no private high schools in Wyoming or Colorado that started with the letter G and was active in 1952. Finally I contacted the manufacturer of the ring, Josten and was told that their records do not go back 58 years so that was a dead end as well.

I don’t think I’m prepared to check out every public/private high school in the remaining 48 states so unless I can think of another option I will return the ring to the Forest Service Archaeologist. She will either archive it or perhaps take it back to where I found it and rebury it for posterity.

I thought it was a noble idea and I realized when I started that it was an extreme long shot for me to successfully find the owner but it was a fun project. I was amazed at helpfulness of each high school I contacted after I told them the story of how I found the ring… C P who ever you are, your ring has caused many people to think about who you are and where you are and what your life was like. Where ever you are, I wish you the best!

Thanks for visiting.

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