Lost In Time

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 2:22pm

Can old photos help locate missing time capsule?

The hunt is on for a time capsule buried in Charlottesville, Virginia 50 years ago.

It is set to be unearthed next year as part of the city's 250th birthday but there are questions about where it is and what condition the capsule will be in once it's found.

50 years ago during Charlottesville's bicentennial celebration, Edwin Roseberry was the official photographer there to document it.

"It was a very warm day. It was in July, the hot part of the afternoon, around 4:00. There was a crowd of people on the street watching the proceedings; it was a lot of excitement," he recalls.

He snapped almost 4,000 pictures.

Now those images could be the key to finding a time capsule buried and lost.

The photos place the time capsule on the side of the Charlottesville circuit courthouse which was under construction in 1962.

The 18 inch by 18 inch metal box was said to be buried just outside the court clerk's entrance under a concrete slab.

In the large cube is a plethora of items from that year including newspapers, letters and the bicentennial program.

"I think from the photos I have with a little triangulation there we can come up pretty close to where it is. If it's still where it was," he says.

There is evidence that suggests the time capsule was removed from the site by a construction crew trying to replace some utility lines.

The question is did the construction crew put it back and if not then where is it?"

Steven Meeks with the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society is charged with the task of finding the time capsule and unearthing it.

It supposed to be opened in late 2012.

"If it's not here I don't know if we will ever be able to find it," Meeks stated. "I do think it is very unusual that there is no 'X' marks the spot."

And with no mark on the ground or on any papers Meeks is hoping Roseberry's photos will direct them, within inches, of the hole that was dug some 50 years ago.

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