RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — On Friday morning, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that crews may have found a 134-year-old time capsule filled with Confederate artifacts in Richmond.
The governor’s office says that historians believe a time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the Lee pedestal on Oct. 27, 1887.
Records from the Library of Virginia reportedly 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.
According to officials, the potential time capsule was discovered by workers at 7:11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 17 while disassembling the pedestal that formerly held the Robert E. Lee statue along Monument Avenue.
“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,” Northam’s office said in a statement. “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.”
Officials say the 2,000 pound granite block needs to be removed and lowered to the ground before historic preservation teams can confirm whether the actual time capsule is inside. That process is expected to take much of the day on Friday, if not longer.
If this is confirmed to be the time capsule, it will reportedly be transported to the Department of Historic Resources, so it can be opened in a way that preserves the artifacts.