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On March 7, 1970, everything changed

Do you have what it takes to  unlock the mystery of what happened on that fateful day?


When you enter the School of Hard Locks,  you open a door to  March 7, 1970 and a room full of questions, clues and riddles obscured by the dust of four decades. Nothing has changed, seemingly.  Don’t be distracted by the buzz of a school in session, of cheerleaders, student laughter, school bells - for those who tarry will have no glory to share.


Only the most daring have ventured inside.  Those that return in under an hour tell stories of being trapped in classrooms and offices and having to use the very skills so prized by Hiram Mack to facilitate their escape.  Those who took more than an hour tell no such stories - they are still somewhere locked inside. 



Hiram Mack was born on a family farm near Waterbury, Vermont in 1828, the third son of seven children.  Hard working and persistent, young Hiram was always searching for a faster and more efficient way to get the job done.  Hiram was pulled towards his chosen trade as a locksmith by both his knack for ingenuity and natural born ambition.


The SoHL Aussies were named after Hiram's Australian Shephard, "Chiave," which means "key" in Italian.  Through the years the school has been home to many generations of Chiave's descendants - in 1970 it was Chiave IX who faithfully attended the baseball game at the side of the school principal.

1870: Chaive

1921: Chiave V

1968: Chiave IX


1870 - 1970

Hiram Mack laid the cornerstone of the very first School of Hard Locks in 1870.   A locksmith by trade, Hiram was an inveterate tinkerer, a laughing practical joker, and he could spin a tall tale to withstand a New England snowstorm.  Hiram made a fortune with his patented unbreakable combination locks, and wishing to leave a legacy of not just strong locks but also strong minds,  he built the Victorian School of Hard Locks with his own capable hands and wrote out its motto in his careful handwriting: "To Strengthen and Expand the Mind and Promote Industry and Good Fellowship."


As the years passed, the School of Hard Locks flourished, but always remained true to Hiram's initial vision: to expand the mind and the spirit of enterprise.  For one hundred years students learned the value of persistence, analytical thinking and a positive attitude.

MARCH 7, 1970

Opening day for the Hard Lock Aussie's baseball team, the whole school came out to watch a thrilling game against their arch rivals. Suddenly, the skies darkened, and for five minutes noon was transformed to midnight as a total eclipse of the sun descended. 


When the sun reappeared, everyone was gone – students, teachers, athletes – there was no one left, and they were never to be seen again.

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