by: Summer Kelley
What has been known as the “Rock Building” at Davis Elementary School and was, in fact, the oldest building on the campus, is set for demolition and Principal Charity Barton is looking for time capsules and stories from the school’s past.
This past school year after sending out a survey, the Dade County Board of Education voted to tear down the Rock Building and rebuild it while trying to maintain some of the buildings’ original style. On Thursday, Principal Charity Barton hosted a Facebook live event on the Davis website. Several community members and school leaders attended the event in person. Barton’s hope was to find a time capsule rumored to have been hidden behind the Cole City plaque affixed to the Rock Building’s exterior.
Barton said she first heard about the possibility of a time capsule from Junior Woodrow Smith, who contacted Barton when he heard about the demolition and construction to be done at Davis. Smith, a graduate of Davis High School, said his Dad had stopped him one day while they were walking between the gym and the Rock Building, pointed to the area of the plaque and told Smith that a time capsule had been hidden there and they did not want it found until all of the people who had put the capsule there were dead.
Barton, Smith and others felt it was likely the time capsule was located behind the Cole City plaque commemorating when the school opened. Unfortunately, on Thursday, when the plaque was removed they discovered another six inches of stone behind the outer stone facade and no visible time capsule. Barton is not discouraged by this as she said the building was originally constructed in the late 1930’s and it is possible things have shifted a lot since then. Plus, the inner stone layer may actually be the original building and so the time capsule may be located within that stone instead or buried somewhere nearby. Barton has spoke with the contractors and they are aware of the possibility of a time capsule and will be keeping an eye out for it.
In the meantime, Barton is sending out a request for stories from Davis’ history so that she can put them into a book. The Cole City rock is being preserved as is the Davis High School emblem over the awning at the entrance to the rock building. The new building will attach to the gym and Barton hopes to have an alumni room where pictures and other memorabilia from Davis’ history can be displayed along with the book of stories about Davis. Davis was a school built by the community on land donated by one family using materials that were provided locally. The rock came from a local quarry on the mountain that is no longer in use. Barton said 1000 square feet of the rock in the Rock Building will be reused in the new building.
Surprisingly, Barton has been contacted by other former students and told there may be other time capsules on the property, but the location of the time capsule is lost in memory. Any stories of Davis you wish to be included can be sent to
“I would love stories from teachers, students and administrators,” Barton said. “I want to make a book to memorialize it.”
While the time capsule remains hidden for the time being, Barton said gathering together on Thursday served another purpose as she wanted everyone to have a chance to pay homage to the Rock Building before demolition began on Monday.
The Facebook video of the search for the time capsule can be viewed at the following link: