Boston Finds 113-Year-Old Time Capsule Inside State House’s Golden Lion Statue

A 113-year-old time capsule is said to be sealed inside a golden lion statue situated on top of the Old State House in Boston.

The time capsule was placed there in 1901, and the contents are said to be placed inside a copper box. Among some of its contents are buttons from the presidential campaigns of Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley, letters from Boston politicians, and photographs.

The time capsule was long forgotten until a descendant of one of the sculpture’s makers reminded the Bostonian Society through a letter sent a few years ago, Smithsonian reports.

This month, the lion statue was taken off from its location for maintenance. A fiber-optic camera was inserted through a small hole to check if the time capsule was indeed inside. They are planning to extract the time capsule to see its contents.

When the crown is removed, there would be enough space for the team to cut the copper wires that are securing the capsule and pull it out.

Robert Shure, the sculptor in charge of restoring the lion, said that the best way to retrieve the time capsule is to remove the lion’s crown, which is soldered to the statue. Heather Leet, Bostonian Society’s spokeswoman, said that the team is being very careful about the issue, as the lion will be difficult to repair if it sustains damages.

The Bostonian Society will be meeting next week to discuss the retrieval process and to finalize the time and date for a ceremony where the contents of the time capsule will be revealed.

Thousands of time capsules are placed in different parts of the globe, but according to reports, out of 10,000 time capsules, about 9,000 have already been stolen, lost, or destroyed. The International Time Capsule Society has not given up on retrieving stolen time capsules.

According to Boston Globe, a new time capsule will be inserted into the golden lion before it is restored and placed back on its location. However, the new time capsule will be added at a later date, as the Bostonian Society is still gathering the items that are to be placed inside the new one.

As of writing, Leet said that the only item that has been chosen so far is a medal from the 2013 Boston Marathon. The general public can send their suggestions of items to include in the time capsule to the Bostonian Society through Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #LionAndUnicorn.

[Image via Boston Magazine]