HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - From yearbooks to documents to old black and white photographs, Central Middle School has discovered a treasure trove of historical artifacts that were hidden away for decades.
“We’ve been finding these all just in file cabinets, just locked away, waiting to be found,” Principal Anne Marie Murphy said.
The school library now proudly displays sports trophies that date back to the early 1900s and dozens of pictures of students and staff.
Murphy said the items are in surprisingly good condition.
"We just kind of became detectives. We realized that there was this amazing history that was just waiting to be told," she said.
School Librarian Holly Gates uncovered most of the goods boxed up in storage rooms.
"I have the class pictures from 1917, from 1922, 1924, and the first class picture in this building in 1927," she said.
The Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu framed the photos so the school can display them.
"The kids never could see any of this stuff," Murphy said. "Now we've really brought it out so that the kids can see this beautiful history of this school, and especially the history of Princess Ruth Keelikolani."
Her palace was bigger than Iolani Palace and even had electricity installed first. It was torn down because of termites.
The school was built on the same grounds.
Gates also discovered old books and documents. She still has many photos that she’s trying to place into Central’s long timeline.
"It's just been fun, so much fun, to just keep finding things," she said.
One of the prized discoveries is a photograph of Helen Keller, the famous educator who was blind and deaf.
“I think that the most impressive thing that we found was the signed picture from Helen Keller, which we did look at on eBay and found out that it’s actually an amazing artifact to have,” Murphy said.
The school dates back to 1895 when it was Honolulu High School. Building A is the oldest one on campus.
Now the old artifacts have found new life and will help to tell Central Middle School’s rich story.