Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Surprises fill time capsule

Arrowhead, water inside

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

        MASON - City government is getting a new home this fall. In preparation, city employees opened a time capsule from the old city hall last month.

        What they found placed in the cornerstone of the building at 202 W. Main St. on Aug. 19, 1939, was water and a pleasant surprise - a Native-American arrow or spearhead.

        City officials thought they knew everything in the capsule, based on a list in an old copy of The Western Star newspaper, and expected to find old coins, a copy of the act incorporating the town, a list of the titles and officials of the village and other documents.

        Water destroyed the majority of the contents, including World's Fair stamps and the historic documents. Employees recovered the coins, including 1938 and 1939 U.S. Liberty dimes and a one-cent German piece from 1879, and the nameplate of the tinsmith who made the box, Henry Fuhr.

        Mayor John McCurley revealed the surprise item at Monday's council meeting.

        “Much of the contents were, if not destroyed, balled into a wet, unrecognizable object,” Mr. McCurley said. “I trust the time capsule we're going to put in the new municipal building will be sealed better.”

        The documents and stamps were turned over to the Mason Historical Society to see if they could be salvaged.

        Council decided to open the capsule before the Heritage Festival Aug. 24 so the city's residents could look at its contents at the fair. The building at 6000 Mason-Montgomery Road will be dedicated Oct. 10, said Jennifer Trepal, public information officer for the city.

        The new building will house all the municipal offices except the public works and public utilities departments.

        Preparations are being made for placing a time capsule in the new building. The capsule will include a picture of the groundbreaking ceremony April 24, 2001, and a guest book from an Oct. 12 open house from 1 to 4 p.m., Ms. Trepal said.


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