The cornerstone was dedicated 97 years ago
The "Old Ladies" stone facade is still elegant in 2016
By Bob Weaver
Ninety-eight-years-ago in 1921 the cornerstone of a newly built Calhoun County High School was dedicated. The county's first and only centralized high school went on to graduate several thousand students in the building until it was closed in 1998, to be replaced by a new school at Mt. Zion.
Since its closing, the old stone structure has gone through several owners, some with dreams of restoring the historic structure. But because of the enormous amount of money needed to renovate the building, it continues to decay, crumble and fall in disrepair.
The building of the first high school was not without many struggles
Several thousand students passed through the twin tower portals
See THE GHOSTS OF CALHOUN HIGH - "It Was The Center Of The Universe"
Here is an article regarding the cornerstone dedication, retrieved by Norma Knotts Shaffer from The Calhoun Chronicle:
BIG CROWD ATTENDS CORNERSTONE
DEDICATION OF NEW CALHOUN HIGH
CONTENTS OF CORNERSTONE LISTED
7/1921 - One of the largest crowds ever gathered in Grantsville was here Monday for the big Fourth of July celebration, and it was one of the most orderly and smoothly conducted affairs ever held in the town.
The crowd is variously estimated at from 3,500 to 5,000. Suffice it to say that it was about as big a crowd of visitors as the town could comfortably accommodate.
The hotels and restaurants were crowded to the limit at the noon hour, while the various soft drink places and confectioneries were thronged at all hours with human swarms endeavoring to quench their thirst.
The speaking program on the lawn in front of the Court House, was opened by devotional exercises by Rev. J. Smith Dye, of the local Baptist church.
Then Hon. Albert G. Mathews in his usual eloquent manner welcomed the large crowd that had assembled. Mr. Mathews was at his best and his address, chock-full of patriotism, was listened to with earnest attention.
Following Mr. Mathews' speech, the declaration of Independence was read by Bruce Ferrell in his inimitable manner.
The principal speaker of the day, Hon. Reese Blizzard, of Parkersburg, was then introduced or rather presented, for the Judge needs no introduction to the people of Calhoun and adjoining counties.
Judge Blizzard then spoke of the warm feeling that he will always have for the people of this county, and then went on in one of the best speeches ever delivered in the town.
Judge Blizzard has ever been popular with the people of Calhoun county, a fact that was evidenced by the huge crowd which came here Monday to greet him and by the rapt attention that was paid to his address.
In the afternoon the corner-stone of the high school building was laid by the West Virginia Grand Lodge of Masons. The Grand Master, Adrian C. Nadenbousch, of Martinsburg, being unable to be present in person, issued his proxy to Silas P. Heckert, of Cairo, who convened the Grand Lodge with the following officers:
Deputy Grand Master, J.D. Jones, Glenville.
Senior Grand Warden, A.G. Miller.
Junior Grand Warden, Charles Barnett, Glenville.
Grand Treasurer, B.G. Stump.
Grand Secretary, R.L. Hamilton.
Grand Senior Deacon, J. Ernest Arbuckle, Glenville.
Grand Junior Deacon, Harvey A. Hall, Weston.
Grand Chaplain, J.Smith Dye.
Grand Orator, Lorentz C. Hamilton.
Grand Pursuivant, Fred Lewis, Glenville.
Principal Architect, Asa M. Maze.
Master of Oldest Lodge, Hagan T. Francis.
Grand Stewards, E.G. Rhorhbough, W. Bennett Hull, John T. Gainer and C. Foster Johnson.
Grand Marshall, John M. Hamilton.
Grand Tiler, Bud Johnson.
The Grand Lodge was formed in procession and moved to the site of the high school building where President Gay Stalnaker, of the High School Board, invited the Grand Master to lay the corner-stone.
The stone was then laid according to the ritualistic ceremony of the Mason. During the ceremony a box containing relics and articles was deposited in a cavity prepared in the stone. The articles placed in the box are as follows:
Photograph of John M. Hamilton, Past Grand Master of West Virginia Masons, 1890-1891 A.D., 5890-5891 A.D. by Lorentz C. Hamilton.
Copy of Grantsville News of July 1, 1921 by A.G. Stutler.
Copy of Calhoun Chronicle of June 30, 1921, by R.L. Hamilton.>P>
Two Pennies by Howard Hamilton.
Two pictures of the old Ball homestead prior to this building by Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Smith.
Copy of original act of legislature creating the high school, by Bruce Ferrell.
Picture of old homestead, the place of my birth, by Miss Etta Johnson.
Picture of Judson Barr, in uniform, and one coin, by Judson Barr.
American Flag by Virginia and Frederick Hathaway and Mrs. Cordelia Barr.
Penny by McClellan Fleming.
Testament by Mr. and Mrs. S.F. Fleming.
Holy Bible by Forest Rogers.
Ten-cent piece by Edward Dulin.
Description of Holy Bible by Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Jarvis.