Time Capsule Found as Confederate Monument is Taken Down in St. Louis

Workers taking down a controversial Confederate monument in St. Louis have discovered a 102-year-old time capsule buried in its base.

Removal of the Confederate Memorial in Forest Park began Monday as part of an agreement between St. Louis and the Missouri Civil War Museum.

The copper time capsule was sealed in the center of the very bottom of the monument about a month before it was completed, said Mark Trout, executive director of the Missouri Civil War Museum, who knew about the capsule’s existence from historical documents.

“We knew it was in there somewhere, so we were careful as we chipped away at something like 40 tons of concrete until we got to the very bottom,” Trout said.

There, workers found a stone tablet that read, “On this spot, a monument will be erected in memory of the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy.” The monument was dedicated in 1914.

Inside the capsule, Trout expects to find documents, a magazine with an article about the monument, as well as a letter to whomever would access the trove, he said.

Given that the time capsule was placed so far into the monument’s base, the letter’s writer must have known that future readers only would access it if the monument were destroyed or disassembled.

“That’s probably the saddest thing,” Trout said.

Still, there will undoubtedly be some surprises in the capsule.

“We know a couple things inside of it, (but) we don’t know everything,” he said.

The capsule is about 18 inches long by 10 inches deep and 10 inches tall, Trout said. It’s expected to be opened at an upcoming fund-raiser for the Missouri Civil War Museum.

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SOURCE: CNN, Eric Levenson and Samira Said