Uncovering Treasures of the Past

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For 70 years Sam Houston University students have gathered around the campus's historic duck pond.

Whether it was for romance or breakup, since the 1930's the pond has seen it all and now it's getting a clean-up.

Saturday students teamed up with the Sam Houston Memorial Museum to clean the pond of pollution and maybe uncover treasures of the past.

"I've lived here 19 years," Freshman Student Stephen Johnson said. "My whole life I've gone to this pond, and it's a way to give back."

The pond was built as part of Roosevelt's New Deal campaign, and it was among several projects in Huntsville during the depression era.

A few decades later the students sacrificed getting dirty to preserve history.

"It's not that bad as long as you get in there and pretty much go for it," Student Diana Basinger said.

But it may have been an alternate motive that had these students knee deep in sludge.

Since the pond was built in 1936 it's been a landmark at the university.
Students have studied by the pond, fed the ducks, started life-long relationships, and have even ended some.

As one university story goes, treasures signifying love and commitment sometimes make it to the bottom of the duck pond.

"Students meet each other and fall in love and sometimes engagements occur, sometimes breakups occur and sometimes rings get thrown into the water in a fit of anger, " Gene Pipes with the Sam Houston Memorial Museum said.

And whatever is turned up, call it finders-keepers

"Maybe you'll find that little thing that somebody threw away many years ago," Pipes said.

But neither bucket or shovel proved successful enough.

"There's so much stuff in here it probably sunk in the mud by now," Student Cody Bowen said.

So the pond may now be cleaner, but secrets of the past remain hidden.

The student volunteers are enrolled in a class encouraging community service.

It also helps them with problems faced during the first year of college.