Some 219 years ago, founding fathers Sam Adams and Paul Revere looked on as a bit of history was tucked into a corner stone of the Massachusetts State House. On Thursday, excavators carefully extracted the keepsakes, according to the Boston Globe.
The time capsule, contained in a 5-by-7-inch copper box, is thought to hold a collection of coins and other artifacts dating as far back as 1652. The capsule had actually already been extracted in 1855, when the original cowhide capsule was replaced with the metal box and new items, including coins from the 1800s, were added to the stash.The box had then been mortared inside the State House cornerstone.
Meghan Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, told the Globe the box may also hold an engraved silver plate, newspapers, the seal of the Commonwealth, cards and the title page of the Massachusetts Colony Records.
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It's believed to be one of the oldest time capsules ever recovered in the state - and likely would have remained in place had it not been for concerns that water had been seeping into the State House at that particular corner. That inspection prompted officials to re-excavate the time capsule to investigate its contents and make sure the items are in good condition.
"Hopefully there will be no damage and we will be able to observe the artifacts that trace us back to the history not only just of this building, but of our Commonwealth and our country," said Secretary of State William Galvin, who was on hand for the capsule's excavation, according to the Boston Globe.
As luck would have it, another time capsule was recovered in Boston just this past October. That 100-year-old capsule was extracted from its holding in the head of a golden lion statue that had perched atop the Old State House in downtown Boston. That capsule held sealed letters, photographs, and newspaper articles.
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As for this most recently extracted time capsule, it's now being held in a safe at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. On Sunday examiners will X-ray the box and they plan to carefully open it and inspect its contents next week. After that, it will be returned to the State House cornerstone, perhaps with a few new items added for future generations to rediscover.
-- via Boston Globe.
Photo: The newly recovered time capsule. Credit: WCVB/screen grab