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Time Capsule Burial “Caps Off” Sesquicentennial

By Staff | Jul 22, 2008

DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 2058 - Last Thursday, July 17, the time capsule was re-buried in the northwest corner of Courthouse Square. The burial marked the final event of the 2008 Palo Alto County Sesquicentennial celebration, and provided a bookend finale to the opening of the 1958 time capsule on June 5. Pictured above are Tom Pico placing the new time capsule in the ground, and (from left) Ron Mullen, Ron Seaman, and Dave Waldschmidt who assisted in digging the hole. More photos can be found on Page 6 of today’s “Reporter.” – Lori Hall photo

The 2008 Palo Alto County Sesquicentennial Celebration officially kicked off with the opening the time capsule, buried at the conclusion of the Centennial celebration in 1958. Last Thursday, July 17, the time capsule was re-interred on the lawn of Courthouse Square. The time capsule’s burial was the final event of the Sesquicentennial, acting as a bookend to the 1958 time capsule’s unearthing on June 5.

A small group of citizens convened on the northwest corner of the Palo Alto County Courthouse property to watch as earth was again moved from the site where the 1958 time was uncovered earlier this summer.

Rain fell while Bob Sackett softly played his harmonica as Emmetsburg Mayor John Schad committed the time capsule to the ground–and to the Palo Alto County citizens of 2058. Volunteers assisted in digging the hole, placing the time capsule inside, and covering it with earth.

The 2008 time capsule, donated by Martin Mattice Funeral Home, is a hinged box constructed of hard plastic, featuring a rubber gasket to seal the contents inside. The container’s hollow walls are filled with sand intended to stabilize the capsule in the event of flooding.

Items from the 1958 time capsule were included in the current time capsule as well as: a letter from the current Emmetsburg mayor to the mayor of 2058; President George W. Bush’s letter of congratulations; Sesquicentennial T-shirt; pageant DVD; shamrock donated by the Glass Shop; cell phone; cassette recording of the final Municipal Band concert; Wild Rose coffee mug, playing cards, and photo of the management team; John Schad coffee mug; bottle of brandy and letter from the Emmetsburg mayor and city council; 1958 Centennial celebration DVD; Palo Alto County map; Schwartz family packet; Emmetsburg & Palo Alto County Visitor’s Guide; Sesquicentennial book published by the “Reporter-Democrat;” as well as “Reporter-Democrat” newspapers chronicling the celebration.

According to Schad, each of the items was sealed inside a plastic bag and placed within the capsule in an air conditioned environment to minimize moisture. It is hoped that the time capsule’s contents will survive their 50-year voyage into the future.