Capstone Project: Yearbooks

Lately, my capstone project has taken me into dusty files and cluttered offices. It’s been a real archiventure. My project involves building a website based on a family archival collection. I have been given permission by the donor of the collection to use Series XI from the Muriel C. Spoden Collection as the primary source for this website; which will demonstrate ways to share genealogy via the internet. The site will be kind of a virtual reunion for family who cannot travel to the archives. The donor has also generously leant to me some personal items and given me access to the personal effects from his father’s professional office.

Today, I want to share just a few things from Mr. Spoden’s 1934 high school yearbook. 1934 was Hal’s junior year at Fredonia High School in Fredonia, NY. Mr. Spoden served as the president of the junior class.

Junior Class Officers

Hal T. Spoden, seated, served as president of the Class of 1935. Please, someone bring back the letterman sweater.

Below the class portrait is a recap of their time at the school, so far. Notice that their freshman year got off to a rocky start. I thought this was perfect for an election year.

Junior Class

During their freshman year, "It took three elections to decide upon class officers because of the stuffing of the ballot box."

The last page of Mr. Spoden’s yearbook that caught my eye was called “The Hilltopper: Through the Junior Peekhole.” It was kind of a gossip/who’s who page. Item No.1 said, “Sleeper Spoden should be given a medal for his honor and integrity. He resigned the position of Art Club Treasurer before temptation became too great.” I’m sure insiders understood that either the art budget was actually quite small and therefore not a temptation, or that  perhaps certain members of the chess club were cuter and posed the real temptation.

I love my project and the opportunity to not only see history through the interractions of a family, but also to peruse the work of an expert genealogist. Archiventurists have all of the fun!Fredonia Committee

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