SLIDESHOW: 1955 Time Capsule Found As Veterans Memorial Comes Down

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The year was 1955. 10TV was covering stories like the expansion of Port Columbus. Over at the newly formed Veterans Memorial, a time capsule was sealed behind a granite wall. 

Now, Vets is being torn down to build a new one. When workers chiseled away a granite wall, they discovered a town capsule.

For a moment, Ronald O'Neal felt a little bit like Indiana Jones.

“It was the hidden treasure. It was exciting,” says O’Neal, Assistant GM at Veterans Memorial.

The treasure was a thin copper box that was sealed with beads of lead, a time capsule. Only the people who had placed it there knew about it.

“It certainly gives us a peek into the history of Columbus back in 1955,” says O’Neal.

It would take some effort to pry it open.

“We had to pry it open with a screwdriver, kind of tap it down very carefully. We spent about an hour and a half getting into to,” added John Raphael, Board of Trustees Chairman.

Inside, they found neatly folded newspapers. It included the three city newspapers of the time – The Columbus Evening Dispatch, Columbus Citizen, and the Ohio State Journal. There was an itemized list of construction costs and the original site plan.

“The biggest attraction was this phone book everybody trying to look up parents and grandparents,” said Raphael.

Finding the time capsule took a little bit of luck. Workers knew it would at the cornerstone of the building and figured it was behind a slab that honored the Board of Trustees. But getting to the time capsule required hammering through a 600 pound of granite.

The time capsule reveals the importance of Vets memorial for its time. For most of six decades it served as THE place where Columbus came to celebrate. All big events were hosted at Vets.

Now, 60 years after its construction, Vets is coming down. The discovery of the time capsule reminds everyone what this building meant to the city.
The items inside the time capsule will be displayed at Motts Military Museum then will be on permanent display at the Ohio historical society.