NC Student earns Eagle Award with historical monument project


Jackson Dutcher and his father prepare moving straps to move the 1913 NCHS cornerstone to its new location. The previous NCHS building was torn down after only ten years due to Casper’s oil boom causing a drastic increase in population. “It feels good to know that something is pretty much permanent,” said Jackson.

Corey Gonzales, Reporter

Boy Scouts of America have worked to improve the community since 1911. Jackson Dutcher, of Boy Scout Troop 1094, recently earned his Eagle Scout rank after completing a community leadership project at Natrona County High School and passing his Eagle Board of Review. 

After discovering that the cornerstone of the old 1913 NCHS building was sitting in the backyard of family friends Janet and Patrick Keating, Dutcher had the idea of moving it back to the campus and turning it into a historical monument. Cornerstones are typically worth preserving because they are a ceremonial artifact and as such usually display engraved messages and dates. The Keating family discovered the engraving “Natrona County High School, 1913” after purchasing a load of stone for a backyard garden project. “We came to learn about the cornerstone by David Shultz, he was the one that got the ball rolling,” said Dutcher.

Securing the donation was not the only hurdle Dutcher had to overcome. “I had to go to a district meeting to make sure it was okay for them to donate the stone,” said Dutcher. During his Eagle Board of Review, Dutcher explained that his citizenship merit badges helped him prepare for this public speaking portion of the project because he had been required to attend a city council meeting. 

Once approved by the district, Dutcher set about finding donations of materials to build the pedestal, getting volunteers to help build it, and developing a plan for moving the stone. 

Transporting the several hundred pound monument was the most intense part of Dutcher’s project. Dutcher and a few of his cross-country friends went to Keaton’s backyard to transport the cornerstone to NCHS. Shultz offered his pickup for the transportation of the stone. It took six people to lift the stone into Shultz’s pickup truck. When Dutcher got to NCHS he laid down concrete around the stone to make sure it would stay there for years to come. “It feels good to know that something is pretty much permanent,” said Dutcher.

  Dutcher spent many hours preparing the groundwork for the project and is very proud of the accomplishment. “There’s a lot of history there, and uncovering a little bit of history that might’ve got forgotten,” said Dutcher.