Massasoit statue at the top of Coles Hill. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Gkullberg
The contents of a 19th-century time capsule unearthed in Massachusetts still remain something of a mystery.
Originally interred beneath the granite staircase of Coles Hill in Plymouth when it was constructed in 1881, the capsule, which is around the size of a lunchbox, was packed with a selection of items that the people of the time believed would be of interest to those who might open it in the future.
"The box was uncovered in 1930 during repairs to the lower flight of solid granite steps," said Donna Curtin, Executive Director of Plymouth's Pilgrim Hall Museum.
"They opened the box, looked at the contents, added a few items from their own time, then sealed it up again and put it back under the corner of the heavy granite slab where it had been found."
Sadly however, due to the way the box had been put back in the ground, it eventually ripped open, creating gaps in the sides and leaving the lid so warped that it was no longer possible to open it.
"It's evident that water did get inside and has definitely turned some items to mush," said Curtin. "We remain hopeful that other items remain in the box that may be recoverable - it's surprisingly heavy."
As for what those items are - it may take weeks to painstakingly open and retrieve the contents.
"What did the people of Plymouth in 1881 and in 1930 want to share with Americans of the future, with us ?" said Curtin. "Pilgrim Hall Museum hopes to uncover some answers."
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