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Vintage homecoming buttons recovered from damaged WDC High School

Photos by Dana Pavek/WDC Schools From left, Wadena-Deer Creek School District bookkeeper Joyce Boyne, WDC Transportation Director Tim Wohlert and Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom reminisce over vintage homecoming buttons recovered from the high school. Both Boyne and Wohlert are graduates of Wadena High School -- Boyne in 1967 and Wohlert in 1970.1 / 2
The oldest buttons recovered from WDC High School are from 1950 and 1951.2 / 2

When Ted Pladson was working at removal and containment of asbestos in the tornado-ravaged Wadena-Deer Creek High School, he stumbled upon several homecoming buttons peeking out of the debris.

Pladson carefully dug the buttons out of the debris, took them back to his office in Minneapolis, cleaned them and placed the 29 buttons in a frame. He surprised Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom by presenting her with the framed buttons this week.

"I thought the school would want them since they're a part of their history. I figured it was the least I could do," said Pladson, who is part-owner of Advanced Environmental Restoration Inc., whose company was hired to remove and contain asbestos in the high school building.

The buttons date back to Oct. 6, 1950, to the most recent button from Sept. 23, 1988. Many of the earlier buttons tout clever slogans and fun caricatures of the Wadena Indian, the school's mascot before it was changed to the Wolverines in 1992.

Some of the catchy slogans include: "We're Achin' to Cream Aitkin -- Sept. 28, 1979," "Noose the Caboose -- WHS vs. Staples, Sept. 20, 1957," "Kick Their Beehives, WHS vs. Frazee -- Sept. 25, 1981," and "Shell D.L. -- Oct. 16, 1959."

The framed buttons will be hung in the District Office for now. Anyone interested in seeing the buttons are welcome to stop by and see them at 404 3rd Street Southwest, across from the Wadena Memorial Auditorium.