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End in sight for Roswell's lost time capsule

Spends decade forgotten

Roswell's time capsule, to be opened in 40 years, will finally be sealed and buried after nearly a decade of uncertainty. JONATHAN COPSEY/Staff. (click for larger version)

A memorial plaque was made to mark the resting place of the time capsule. All that was left was to bury the box. Deciding a proper resting place proved difficult for the city. JONATHAN COPSEY/Staff. (click for larger version)
December 04, 2013
ROSWELL, Ga. – Sometimes things get lost in the hectic day-to-day shuffle. For Roswell, it turns out one of those things was a time capsule.

As part of the city's Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2004, a time capsule was created to be filled with items relative to the city's 150th year. The plan was to open it 50 years after the sesquicentennial, in 2054.

The capsule box was bought and filled with memorabilia from the celebrations – a poster, mugs, a baseball cap and newspaper articles were all placed inside. However, it was never sealed and buried. Instead, it sat in an office for these past nine years.

A nondescript metal box about 3 feet high, it almost looks like an old drinking fountain. Fitting, perhaps, for something designed to be buried for half a century.

After the festivities of the 150th year, Historic and Cultural Affairs Manager Morgan Timmis said the capsule was more-or-less forgotten about.

"A decision was never made on where to put it," she said. "It wasn't a high priority item for anybody."

And so the box sat in the corner of an office for the better part of a decade.

Finally, the end may be in sight for the capsule – Roswell approved Nov. 25 to bury the box at the foot of the steps of City Hall after Councilmember Betty Price helped resurrect the project.

"Elaine DeNiro, the city archivist, asked whatever happened to it," said Price. "So we went on a hunt to find it."

When they found it, Price said she was determined to wrap up that lose end and find a burial place.

"We decided to get that thing properly planted," she said.

The recommended location for the time capsule is to bury it at the bottom of the steps in front of City Hall. A plaque would be placed above it to mark the location.

Now that a resting place has been found, Timmis said the box must be sealed up – sent back to the manufacturer to do so – returned to the city and then buried. A memorial plaque has been made to place over top of it. No date has been set for the burying.

"For eight or nine years, it's been sitting waiting for a home," Price said. "Hopefully before too long we will be getting it in the ground."

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