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Memorabilia pours in for GHS 125th anniversary event
High school plans celebration in February
Kris Nordholz, left, a 1991 graduate of Gainesville High School, and Jeff Pierce of the 1981 graduating class, are among the many Red Elephant alumni promoting the school’s 125th anniversary celebration taking place next month. The two recently browsed the school’s first yearbook published in 1914, and a natural sciences textbook used at the school that dates back more than 100 years, during a meeting at the school’s media center. - photo by Carlos Galarza

Two veteran Red Elephant alumni are planning a trip down memory lane when Gainesville High School celebrates its 125th anniversary next month.

History will be front and center for the open house that will attract visitors near and far to mark the milestone event.

One of the first calls that went out through social media from organizers was a request for historical memorabilia, said Jeff Pierce, a member of the graduating class of 1981 who has taken on the role of historian for the big reunion.

Pierce said the collection is adding up.

“We have some cheerleading uniforms from back in the ’50s, letterman sweaters from the ’40s and maybe even the ’30s,” Pierce said.

One of the historical centerpieces to be displayed will be a time capsule filled by members of the community in 1903.

“It was in the cornerstone at Main Street until it was demolished in ’78 or ’80,” Pierce said.

Pierce describes the time capsule items as “innocuous” little things such as pencils, an engraver’s plate by one of the jewelry stores in town, civic club rosters and handbooks, a receipt from one of the stores and a coin.

“Some of it is legible and some is very fragile because of the moisture over the years,” Pierce said.

Kris Nordholz, a 1991 GHS graduate, said the Northeast Georgia History Center is providing a lot of the the school’s memorabilia.

“If we go back to 1947, we have 70 graduating classes that we have representatives trying to spread the word. “We’re putting the call out to anybody who attended (GHS), former teachers, staff, parents, friends, community members that were supporters of the athletic club and booster club. We want as many people as possible.”

Some of the history to be displayed will be tied to GHS football teams. Pierce said the first recorded football game was played in 1905.

“They played one game that year and they lost,” Pierce said. “It took them a couple of years to win a game.”

Nordholz said the cache of memorabilia is substantial. Pierce said there’s enough of it to place the oldest memorabilia at the lobby, progress go up to the third floor with items from the more recent decades.

The celebration will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26.