Winthrop Training School grad’s bracelet bought in Australia
A charm bracelet an Australian woman purchased on eBay may have been owned by a Winthrop high school graduate, a former classmate says.
According to Barbara Bynum, a 1956 Winthrop Training School graduate, the bracelet, which The Herald featured in an article, was originally owned by her former classmate Caroline Jordan.
Susan Jones, who lives in North Queensland, Australia, bought the bracelet earlier this year, she told The Herald. One of the charms reads “Rock Hill 1956” on one side and “Debutante C.J.” on the other.
“Pretty amazing if this bracelet has made it all the way from Rock Hill to Townsville Qld Australia,” Jones wrote in a message.
Bynum said she believes the bracelet was Jordan’s based on charms with her initials, Rock Hill and the year 1956 listed.
Winthrop University archives confirm Caroline Jordan was a 1956 Winthrop Training School graduate. Winthrop Training School in Rock Hill was a K-12 school before closing in the 1970s, according to the college.
Bynum, who still lives in Rock Hill, said the training school classes were small.
“Everybody knew everybody,” she said during a phone interview Monday.
Jordan came to Winthrop Training School as a junior in 1954, said Brittany Pigford, archivist with Winthrop University’s Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections. A story about the history of the Class of 1956 shows Jordan came to the school from Louisiana.
“Another bundle of surprises came in the form of Caroline Jordan, a real Southerner from Louisiana, who was to become a great friend to us all,” the story states.
Bynum said she learned from Jordan that the family moved to the area because her father was an Army recruiter.
Jordan was involved in several clubs her senior year, including National Honor Society, Pigford told The Herald. Jordan was Speaker of the House for the debate club, was in the senior play, was maid of honor for the 1955 homecoming and was editor of the yearbook, The Garnet and Gold. She was named most outstanding and most humorous in the senior superlatives.
Jordan also was a captain for girl’s basketball team, Pigford said. The bracelet includes a basketball charm that reads “C.J. Champ 1952.”
Bynum said Jordan went to college in Florida after leaving the training school. The two lost touch at that point, she said.
At their 50th class reunion in 2006, Bynum said Jordan was the only classmate who had not been reached.
Bynum said she was able to get in touch with Jordan thanks to former training school coach Ralph Gahagan, whose late wife had Jordan’s mother’s address.
Bynum learned Jordan had married Larry Johnson and was living in St. Mary’s, Ga. Bynum said she and Jordan kept in touch via email before she died in September 2010.
Jordan told Bynum that her husband had a connection to the Navy. It’s not a surprise, then, that the bracelet ended up in Australia, Bynum said.
“She and her husband were world travelers,” Bynum said.
Bynum also received clips of columns that Jordan had written for a paper in St. Mary’s.
“She was a versatile person,” Bynum said.
Jones said she is glad to know who once owned the bracelet.
“Wow that’s amazing,” she said in a message to The Herald Monday. “Love that we have a name to the debutante’s bracelet. It’s such a beautiful piece.”