Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Captured Time from 1959

While renovating Mooresville High School (MHS) this month, construction workers discovered a time capsule encased within the cornerstone of the building, which was dedicated on November 29, 1959.  The cornerstone had been covered up since 1986 by another addition to the structure.  It had apparently been forgotten, as school personnel were pleasantly surprised at the discovery but could find no official record describing the time capsule's contents.  If you look closely at the dedication program cover, you'll see where the cornerstone (and time capsule) were to be placed during the dedication ceremonies.

Click images to enlarge

Cornerstone location at Mooresville High School
(Before it was placed, with time capsule inside, on November 29, 1959)

 Article about the MHS Dedication from the front page of the
Mooresville Times, Dec. 3, 1959

The time capsule, a welded-shut copper box, contains "records," according to an article about the dedication ceremony from the Mooresville Times (Thursday, Dec. 3, 1959, p. 1).  These were presumably school records and probably also artifacts from the time (some possibilities include, e.g., a 1959 MHS yearbook, Wagon Trails; local newspapers; popular souvenirs from local businesses, churches, or organizations; school documents pertaining to the building's construction; the dedication ceremony pamphlet; and other historical items).  But this is purely speculative; the only way to know for certain is to open the copper box.  No mean feat, that.  Those welds are pretty solid.  Time capsules are intended to survive for centuries.

 Sunco workers (L to R) Zach Green, Tyler Shorter, and Keegan Foltz
discovered (and uncovered) the cornerstone & time capsule

MCSC officials have contacted the Indiana State Archives to determine how best to open the sealed copper box without damaging its contents. 

The historical investigation has been spearheaded by Susan Haynes, chief communications officer for the Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation (MCSC) and herself an MHS alumnus.  She has been sifting school archives and the vertical files from Mooresville Public Library (MPL) to determine what may be hidden inside the time capsule.  She has also requested public input from persons who lived in town (or attended MHS) in 1959 (or thereabouts) who might be able to provide some insights from personal memories or contemporaneous documents.  If you have any information, or if you'd like to read updates about the time capsule, please visit the MHS Facebook page or the MCSC website.


  1. The construction of the school, digging up time capsules, and history fits our summer reading to a "t!" How cool!

  2. Opening a time capsule is always exciting. And Dean Farber of DePauw was one of "our guys."


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