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Crews may have located 1887 time capsule in Robert E. Lee statue pedestal

robert e lee richmond
(© Noel – stock.adobe.com)

Gov. Ralph Northam today announced that crews may have located the 1887 time capsule of Confederate artifacts on Monument Avenue in Richmond at 7:11 a.m. today.

It was discovered by crew members disassembling the pedestal that formerly held the Robert E. Lee statue.

Workers noticed something that looked “different” this morning, so they chiseled down with a hammer and found the top of what appears to be the time capsule–located inside a large block, under one inch of cement. It was located approximately 20 feet in the air, in the tower, not in the pedestal’s base.

It was located approximately 8 feet from the outside of the granite and about one foot from the edge of the core. It appears to be largely undamaged.

The stone must be removed and lowered to the ground before historic preservation teams are able to confirm whether this is, in fact, the actual time capsule. That is expected to take much of today, or longer.

Historians believe a time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the Lee pedestal on October 27, 1887. Records from the Library of Virginia suggest that 37 Richmond residents, organizations, and businesses contributed about 60 objects to the capsule, many of which are believed to be related to the Confederacy.

If this is confirmed to be the time capsule, it will be transported to the Department of Historic Resources, so it can be opened using best practices for historic preservation to maintain the integrity of the artifacts.


augusta free press
augusta free press