Purse Lost in the 1950s Discovered at Ohio Middle School Becoming Time Capsule From a Very Different Era

Have you ever imagined what someone 60 years from now would think about you if they happened to have found a purse you lost today? Last spring at North Canton Middle School in Ohio, students, and staff received a peek into the life of a student who attended classes there in the 1950s.

The purse was wedged between a wall and some old lockers, almost in plain sight. Yet no one bothered it for over 60 years. Last spring, a school custodian came across the dusty little red purse. It was clear that it had been there for some time as it was covered with dust and cobwebs.[1]

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

One question that was on everyone’s mind was how could someone not have seen it before now?

A commenter shared more details about how the purse was uncovered:

“On May 29, 2019, North Canton Middle School custodian Chas Pyle heard a loud noise in a side hallway by the gymnasium. When he investigated the sound, he discovered that a piece of metal trim that covers a narrow opening between a set of lockers and the wall had become detached and fallen to the floor with a loud clang. As Pyle worked to reattach the trim, he noticed a red object at the bottom of the narrow opening, a purse covered with about six inches of dust.”

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

The school posted several photos of the student on their Facebook page, hoping someone could get in touch with her. The girl in the photo was about 14 at the time.

The purse belonged to a student named Patti Rumfola, who was a 1960 graduate of Hoover High School. Sadly, Patti died seven years ago.

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

However, the school did manage to contact her family.

That fall, Patti’s five children all gathered together at the school to open their mom’s purse, and let’s just say it was quite a blast from the past!

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

Inside was some amazing insight into Patti’s life as a pre-teen.

By February, the school had been given permission from Patti’s children to post photos of the purse’s contents on their Facebook page for all those fans who’d been following the story.

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

And in a little over a week, the post was shared over 61,000 times!

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

The caption read in part:

“Those of you who may have gone to school in the 1950s or 1960s may have memories of some of these items. In one of the photos, you will see nine coins from Patti’s wallet. Each of her five children kept one of the wheat pennies as a token of remembrance of their mom.”

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

Inside were items such as a stick of gum, coins, and several ID cards. The purse contained a wealth of items that gave people a glimpse into the past.

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

One thing was for sure, Patti carried quite a few things in their purse, and many of us can certainly relate!

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

After she passed away in 2013, Patti’s obituary was proof that she continued to be energetic, outgoing, and very active in her community even after middle school.

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

Eventually, she would become a school teacher in Annapolis, Maryland, and helped found both the Young Women’s Club and the Theatre Arts Guild in Puxatawny, Pennsylvania. She was also very active in quilting and book clubs and became a seamstress and costume designer for the local Reitz Theater.

Image Source: North Canton City Schools/Facebook

Visit the Facebook post here to see more amazing photos of what was inside Patti’s purse. And you can learn more about this incredible story in the video below.

Thanks for reading. Please be so kind as to pass this story along to your friends and family?

Sources:

  1. “Someone at an Ohio middle school discovered a purse lost in the 50s, and it is a time capsule” Spotlight Stories. Jessica. March 2, 2020.

 



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