5 Battle Creek Area Time Capsules That Have Never Been Opened
The idea of a time capsule is fascinating, preserving both profound and trivial bits of our story sealed away, often in a building's cornerstone to be wondered over by future generations. Here are 5 examples from Battle Creek and Kalamazoo area time capsules that have not yet been opened.
Bronson Park Mound
To be opened 2054
The Native American burial mound in the southwest corner of Bronson Park is said to contain a time capsule buried in 1954, the second time capsule to the buried in the park. The first was in the 1850s, and according to the Kalamazoo Public Library, was placed in the park by
local businessman Alexander J. Sheldon took on the responsibility of restoring the mound, which had been damaged over the years. During the process, he buried a time capsule containing coins, information about his time, and issues of the Kalamazoo Telegraph, which he published. A century later, Alexis Praus, director of the Kalamazoo Public Museum and Nicholas Kik, superintendent of parks, re-excavated the mound. They recovered the time capsule and discovered the outlines of a grave presumably left by the Hopewells. A new time capsule took the place of the original with the intention that it remain until at least 2054.
WMU Administration Building
To be opened 2053
In 2014 a time capsule was sealed into a sculpture near the Seibart Administration Building on campus and will remain off limits until the school's 150 anniversary in 2014. WMU's Office of University Relations says,
The capsule is a rectangular metal box with a capacity of two cubic feet, manufactured specifically for the purpose of serving as a time capsule. It is scheduled to be opened on the University's Founders Day, May 27, 2053. Until then, it will reside in the base of the Centennial Sculpture, an outdoor work that was commissioned in honor of WMU's 100th anniversary and dedicated Oct. 23, 2003. The sculpture is located near the main entrance to Seibert Administration Building.
Battle Creek Tower
Intended to be opened in 2931, will be opened in 2031
When the Battle Creek Tower, then known as the Central National tower was constructed in 1931 a time capsule was sealed inside that was to stay hidden away for a millennium.
Records indicate that among the contents of the copper time capsule box were various newspaper articles, records, autographed photos of local and federal government officials, and samples of bank equipment. Also inside was a small steel and chromium box containing commonly used items, not to be opened “for 1,000 years.”
The Hinman Company, which now owns the building, has stated they plan on opening the capsule in 2031, one hundred years since it's placement.
The Lost 1,000 Year Time Capsule in Battle Creek
Amazingly the time capsule inside the Battle Creek Tower was not the only capsule in Cereal City intended to be opened 1,000 years hence. Oak Hill Cemetery's Abbey Mausoleum which was built in 1911 contained a time capsule that was intended to be opened in 2911. However, that was not to be. As told on bellamorte.net's fantastic read about the historic Battle Creek burial ground,
The time capsule captivated the imagination of Battle Creek residents who commissioned histories of clubs, organizations, businesses and churches to be written and sealed within the crypt along with photographs, baubles and various paraphernalia particular to the time. But in 1960, thoughtless vandals, having no care for such things, broke in and removed the contents of the crypt in its entirety.
Sadly, today both the time capsule and mausoleum are gone, the building having been torn down in 1979.
To be opened in 2037
In 1987, members of the Schoolcraft Historical Society,
buried a time capsule in the Village of Schoolcraft’s minipark located next to the former Municipal Building. In 2008, the time capsule was moved to the Village of Schoolcraft’s Municipal Complex where it waits to be opened on September 21, 2037.
Inside the time capsule are items and happenings in the Village of Schoolcraft, Schoolcraft Township and Prairie Ronde Township. More than 70 people contributed items and information for the capsule, so that when it is opened in the year 2037, people will know what life was like in the Village of Schoolcraft and surrounding area 50 years earlier.
Washington Elementary School
Lost during construction?
The idea of time capsules has come up many times on the Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook group. Members have shared remembrances of time capsules at Chime Elementary in Oshtemo as well as Spring Valley, West Main and Washington Elementary Schools.
A possible time capsule at Washington Elementary is particularly intriguing as the school was torn down in 2013 to make way for the new Washington Writers' Academy. A Kalamazoo Gazette article published at the time about the school's demolition makes no mention of the discovery or opening of a time capsule.
An Opened Kalamazoo Area Time Capsule
A time capsule at the Wesley Foundation at WMU was opened in 2015.