Mary Turner Stoots wanted to do something special for her graduating class's 45th anniversary in August so she spent nearly three months handcrafting a composite photo of the Reynoldsburg High School class of 1970.

Mary Turner Stoots wanted to do something special for her graduating class's 45th anniversary in August so she spent nearly three months handcrafting a composite photo of the Reynoldsburg High School class of 1970.

She then donated the piece to the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society, where it now hangs with other class composites dating back to 1899. It is the largest in the collection and includes portraits of all 193 students in the class.

"Mary's gift was really outstanding, not only because we didn't have the class of 1970, but it's a superb piece of work," historical society president Mark Myers said. "It's far superior to the other composites we got from the schools."

Class composites from Reynoldsburg High School are the cornerstone of the society's collection, according to Myers. He said while the organization is missing a few classes here and there, it has procured the majority of them from 1899 to 1970.

The composites are displayed on all three levels of the Reynoldsburg Heritage Center, 1485 Jackson St.

"We got most of them from Reynoldsburg schools around 1973, when they took them down. They used to hang in (school) hallways," he said.

The photos are indexed by each student's name, so visitors can easily find their family or friends.

The district stopped making composites in the late 1960s when classes grew too large.

Stoots said as an artist who works with paper sculptures and calligraphy, she was used to working with paper and ink. The project was also a way to test her abilities, to see if such a task was even possible, she said.

"I thought I could utilize the skills I have and make something really nice," she said.

Stoots said she worked all day, every day to cut out everything by hand. This included portraits cut from a spare yearbook, oval frames and banners. Each name was hand-drawn, which she said was a challenge because of the small letters and restricted space.

"I had to do many over and over again until I could get them centered just right," she said.

Myers said the finished project hangs on the top floor of the museum. He said classes from the 1930s are located on the lower level and those from the 1940s can be found on the ground floor.

"They're very important. Everybody likes looking at composite pictures, especially if you come from that class," Myers said.

Stoots has now begun working on a composite for the RHS class of 1967, which had 185 students.

The composites and other memorabilia will be on display at the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society's monthly open house held the third Saturday of each month at the Heritage Center. The next open house is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 19. Admission is free.