Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  Built in the late 1890's, Emerson High School is the oldest standing school building in the Oklahoma City Public School District. 

While removing chalkboards from the classrooms during a recent renovation project, construction workers exposed original boards complete with lessons, drawings and signatures that are almost 100 years old!

The story garnered national attention and NBC News sent Harry Smith to Oklahoma City to cover it.  It was reported on NBC Nightly News June 15, 2015. A video of this report appears after the pictures below.

To the best of my knowledge it is yet to be decided how the boards will be preserved.  It is being discussed whether or not they should be covered with Plexiglas or new boards installed over them. From my perspective it would be an injustice not to leave them visible for future generations to see.

As an aside, Emerson School made the news back in 1995 when a piece of axle from the Ryder rental truck used to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Building landed in the school yard there.


The old front entrance to the Emerson High School

Chalk board signed by Custodian R.J. Scott December 4th, 1917

Chalkboard art and December 1917 Calendar

More chalkboard art


R.J. Scott signature December 1st, 1917

More signatures

This speaks for itself!

Harry Smith from NBC News speaking with construction workers