Students adding historic plaques to Waterloo landmarks

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WATERLOO, IL (KTVI) -  Mayor Tom Smith has a lot of big ideas for his small town.

"Community of tradition and progress," says Smith.

"That's Waterloo?"asks Clark.

"That's Waterloo," says Smith.

So, Smith decided to take his idea of the city's past to high school teacher Matthew Schweizer.

"I spent the rest of the summer coming up with a research plan and program for the kids that would feature  courthouse records, library records and newspaper records and oral histories and interviews so the kids could help create these plaques," says Matthew Schweizer, History Instructor.

"We spent all semester long researching that building and seeing all of the deed transfers and piecing together all the different resources that we had," says Abby Mueller, Junior.

"These deed books are huge," says Johnny Francesco, Junior.  "They're six inches thick and loaded with pages and they're huge books and just to think all that was hand written."

Over the course of this year, 30 historical plaques will be placed around downtown Waterloo, thanks to the hard work of these Gibault Catholic High School students.

"You're like a history detective," says Clark.

"Yes," says Mueller.  "A scavenger hunt almost."

And don`t forget their forward thinking mayor.

"This building here is where my Mother was a waitress back in the 50's," says Smith.

"That's cool," says Clark.  "So this means something to you."

"Waterloo is my hometown and if we don't save history who is going to save history," says Smith.