01/18/05 — Time capsule uncovered during demolition of Community Building

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Time capsule uncovered during demolition of Community Building

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on January 18, 2005 2:02 PM

Demolition crews uncovered a time capsule Monday in a corner of the old Community Building. It was a surprise.

Neil Bartlett, director of the city's recreation and parks department, said that the existence of the time capsule was unknown to the city.

"We had no knowledge of its existence because there was no documentation left behind," he said.

The Community Building, built as a tribute to World War I casualties, was heavily damaged by a fire May 2. The trustees hope to build a replacement, but a location has not been determined.

Bartlett said that he, and others, could see from the appearance of the cornerstone that something might be inside.

"It looked like it might be holding a box, or it could have been a little cubicle," he said. "We couldn't tell."

Bartlett left instructions with the crew from A-K Grading & Demolition to make sure anything found within the cornerstone was preserved.

He said the crew called him Monday afternoon, and he went to the site to get the box.

"It's a small box, about the size of a loaf of bread, and it's made of copper," Bartlett said.

There is some water inside the box, along with corrosion on the outside.

"The top is soldered on, and I don't know if any of the contents have been damaged by the water," he said. "It's been draining since yesterday."

Bartlett doesn't know whether the water accumulated over the years, or was a product of the firefighting efforts to save the building last spring.

He's in the process of contacting the trustees to find out what they want to do about the time capsule.

The cornerstone is dated 1924.

--Barbara Arntsen