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Crews apparently find another capsule at Lee statue site

1887 time capsule gov Northam.jpg
Posted at 2:14 PM, Dec 27, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. — The search for the 1887 time capsule inside the area where the towering Robert E. Lee statue once stood over Monument Avenue yielded yet another box believed to be the coveted artifact.

Crews continued their search on Monday as they worked to clean up the remaining pieces of the statue's pedestal. That's when they found a box in the northeast corner of the pedestal site.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted photos of the long-sought-after box after it was removed.

"They found it!," the governor exclaimed on Twitter. "This is likely the time capsule everyone was looking for."

Gov. Northam added that the box would not be opened on Monday.

Last Wednesday, state conservators spent five hours delicately prying open a corroded lead box found in the tower portion of the pedestal days beforehand that some believed — or at least hoped — was the 1887 time capsule.

But what they found instead was an edition of "The Huguenot Lovers: A Tale of the Old Dominion," a cloth envelope, a silver coin, and a rust-colored 1875 almanac, the Associated Press reported.

The news outlet reported the location in which the first box was found and the lack of expected items inside led experts to believe it was not the time capsule they hoped it would be.

Historian Dale Brumfield believed the box found on Dec. 17 was less of a time capsule and more of a personal commemorative collection for the men behind the statue's construction.

A newspaper from 1887 suggested that the actual capsule would contain dozens of objects, civil war memorabilia, and a picture of Lincoln lying in a coffin that Brumfield said could be worth upwards of $300,000.

Taylor O'Bier at WTVR first reported this story.