Richmond Time Capsule: Second capsule found under the pedestal of the Robert E. Lee statue

A copper box was found under the pedestal, “below ground level in a very humid area,” department director Julie Langan said, adding that it was “too early to know if any water had seeped into the box “.

The box weighs 36 pounds, Langan said. It measures 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 7.5 inches.

“They found it! This is probably the time capsule everyone has been looking for. Restaurateurs are studying it – stay tuned for the next steps! (Will not be open today),” Virginia Gov. Ralph northam tweeted on Monday. He later said that the box will be open at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

“X-rays give first glimpse of the time capsule: Experts believe there could be Civil War coins, books, buttons and even ammunition,” he tweeted.

The capsule was taken to the Department of Historic Resources conservation lab where curators began to assess it, Langan said. “Then we’ll try to figure out how the box is sealed and if the seal has been broken. “

The Richmond Bomb Squad was first consulted to ensure it could be opened safely.

Langan said two paper conservators will be in attendance when the box is opened.

“This is a second time capsule and probably the one that is known to have been placed in the pedestal,” Langan said. “The one recovered last week was unexpected and probably left behind by men involved in the construction.”

The first time capsule was found in Lee’s pedestal

The first container was found on December 17 as workers dismantled the statue’s 40-foot pedestal on Monument Avenue in Richmond, according to a press release from the Northam office.
The 12-ton statue of Lee on his horse, which was taken down in September, had become a focal point for racial justice protests in Richmond – the former capital of Confederation.

The first capsule was found in the pedestal tower, about 20 feet above ground level. Among the items found inside the lead container were an 1875 almanac, two withered books, a coin, and a cloth envelope.

Workers guide a stone containing a time capsule that was placed in 1887.
Historians believe the first time capsule was placed on October 27, 1887, and included about 60 items donated by 37 Richmond residents, many of which were Confederation-related, according to the governor’s office.

The state plans to store the pedestal until authorities decide what to do with the partial monument.

CNN’s David Williams, Sharif Paget and Sara Smart contributed to this report.

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