The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Freshman is self proclaimed Marshfield enthusiast

Photo by Rosy Cervantes.


Some students are ready to leave the old ball and chain that is high school behind.

Freshman Ryan Johnson is not one of these people. Johnson, who is self-proclaimed to be obsessed with Marshfield, is on a mission to uncover all of the school’s secrets.

“I think it was because the school has a lot more secrets that we’ll find as we become seniors,” Johnson said.

Johnson said his obsession began when band director John Kruse mentioned secret tunnels within the school.

“I just said that to give him something to wonder about part of the Marshfield mystique,” Kruse said.

According to freshman Spencer Mead, one of Johnson’s friends, Johnson became preoccupied with the school last year.

“I do not know when it started, but like, I think last year is when I first started noticing that, and he’s still finding out new things,” Mead said.

Librarian Peggy Christensen said she is unsure of whether his interest began with the arrival of Heritage Hall, as the people in charge of the project are digging for old information.

“I don’t know if he’s tied to that quest in some way or if [he] sort of jumped on the bandwagon,” Christensen said.

Kruse said watching Johnson as he discovers more and more can be enjoyable to witness.

“He is obsessed with that sort of thing,” Kruse said. “It’s kind of fun to watch.”

Johnson has been asking Marshfield teachers for information and even family members who previously attended the school to confirm whether or not rumors, such as the secret tunnels and the presence of a swimming pool, are true. He claims they are.

“During the summer, I called up one of my grandparents. . . And he was telling me about it [the school’s secrets],” Johnson said.

He said while he also discusses his discoveries and the school in general at home with his family, his obsession can be odd at times.

“It gets a little bit weird sometimes,” Johnson said.

Mead said when Johnson, who knows when each of the buildings were constructed and even knows quite a bit about the cemetery, is sharing his new findings it is never overwhelming to hear.

“It’s noticeable, but it’s not like ‘Oh my God, please [stop],’” Mead said.

According to Kruse, Johnson does a good job of seeking and finding facts about Marshfield.

Johnson said one day he found an old blueprint in one of the computer labs, and with that blueprint, everything started to click into place. He began researching Marshfield, and although he already knows much of the history, the architecture and the secrets, he still wants to know more.

“I wanted to know more and more, and I found this old blueprint,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to look for all the blueprints.”

Currently, Johnson is working on constructing a model of part of the school.

“I have all the dimensions, inch by inch, of the Main Building. It’s actually really cool,” Johnson said. “I’ve been working on it all year. I’ve been making a three-dimensional version of the Main Building.”

Johnson, who also utilizes information found in old yearbooks, said when he first began searching, he asked one of the custodians about the rumored secret tunnels.

“One of them told me down in the cafeteria is the entrance to one of them,” Johnson said.

Christensen said she was apprehensive when Johnson began asking to copy pages from old yearbooks because they are so old.

“He came up and wanted to know if he could look at yearbooks and then he wanted to start copying information out of them,” Christensen said.

Kruse said Johnson will come to him bearing information he has never heard before.

“He will come in here with things he’s found and show me,” Kruse said. “It’s neat to see. [He’ll show me] things I didn’t know existed.”

A person could ask Johnson about practically anything to do with the school and he would more than likely have the answer or look into it, according to Mead.

“I believe I asked him where the long, dark hallway with the secret rooms and where the tunnels were,” Mead said. “They had a bunch of old films stored in there.”

Mead also said if any disaster were to ever happen to Marshfield, such as a fire, and the school had to be built again, Johnson would wish to take part in the restoration.

“He said he would want to be one of the people to rebuild it,” Mead said.

However, if this were to happen or if he were to come into big money, then Johnson said he would like to rebuild the East Branch, which used to be where the Pirate Hall parking lot is now.

“If I ever win the lottery, I want to rebuild it,” Johnson said.

Christensen said it is really cool to see a student so invested in Marshfield.

“He’s totally responsible, and I totally support what he’s doing,” Christensen said.

Mead said Johnson’s passion does not get in the way of his day-to-day life. Johnson, in his spare time, also helps coach soccer and plays video games.

“It’s not like he’s so obsessed with it that he doesn’t do any other things,” Mead said. “He does soccer, he has video games, you know, all the normal things.”

Johnson said he is unsure of what it is about Marshfield he finds so enticing.

“It kind of varies sometimes. I don’t know if it’s the architecture, the age or all the secrets about it,” Johnson said. “I have a lot of history here and I just keep finding more and more.”

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Freshman is self proclaimed Marshfield enthusiast