The “time capsule” found in the base of the pioneer monument in Chico was opened today at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park.
The box is made of copper and was sealed with lead solder. Inside was a paper scroll, yellowed and fragile, and two rolls of straw padding. I don’t think there is anything under the scroll and padding, but it is hard to tell. There might be some coins or other small artifacts in there.
The box is now on display in the Visitor’s Center, so if you would like to take a look, you can go anytime BMSHP is open, Friday-Monday, 11-5.
The contents were not taken out of the box at this time because of the fragile nature of the scroll. A curator from State Parks will be coming in December to deal with it.
Was this really a time capsule? Was it ever intended to be opened? Time capsules usually have a notice somewhere that says, “Open in 50 years” or some other time period. But nothing like that was found. Perhaps those who erected the monument intended it to remain in the base, as part of the dedication. Cornerstones of public buildings often have something similar concealed in a cavity.
Either way, it will be interesting to find out what is on the scroll. Stay tuned!
I’m excited to see what’s in the scroll. It’s like the pioneer monument in Truckee.
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