POINT PLEASANT — A Point Pleasant High School (PPHS) 1961 class ring was discovered after being lost for 57 years.
Randy Stewart of Point Pleasant shared he had recently started the hobby/sport of metal detecting using both a Whites V3I and a Whites MX Sport metal detector.
Stewart said, “I peruse the recovery of historical artifacts…there is stuff right under our feet that gives us an insight in the lives of our ancestors and the ones who lived before us. I always approach a property with respect and try to leave the ground better than I found it. I have found old silver coins and relics from wars past and everyday items…I am willing to help if I can, I love finding things and the history of it.”
Stewart recovered a PPHS 1961 10k gold class ring with a black onyx stone inside in April. The search would eventually reveal the ring belonged to Cheryl Mitchell Escue.
Stewart stated, “I found the ring right outside of Point Pleasant in the neighborhood of Kingtown on my great-great-grandparents’ property. The way she lost the ring is my cousin who I never met, Jackie Lee Reynolds, dated her in high school and it was customary then to exchange class rings. He wore it on his pinky finger and lost it soon after the exchange. It was lost for 57 years.”
Stewart explained it took him about two to three weeks to find Escue, who has lived in Columbus, Ohio since the mid 1960’s when she moved from Point Pleasant.
Stewart said, “I was blessed to be a member of Point Pleasant WV History on Facebook and those guys and gals on that site are awesome researchers. Also, I’m on a few different metal detecting forums, they were also a big help. Also, I used the local knowledge of family and friends in the area.”
Stewart and his wife, Michele Stewart, drove 100 miles to return the ring in person to Escue.
Stewart shared Escue was very excited to talk to him and when they finally met the moment was emotional.
“You could tell memories and emotions were flooding back to her and she was genuinely grateful to have this piece of history back. We visited with her as long as we could and she told us stories and spoke about people we both knew from Point Pleasant,” said Stewart.
He commented the experience was great. Stewart shared he and his wife travel to Columbus frequently and plan to visit Escue sometime since they both enjoyed her company.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.