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Time Capsule Found at Old State House

Down the street from Suffolk University, at the Old State House on Washington Street, a historical and fascinating discovery was made.

A 133-year-old time capsule was hidden in one of the city’s most recognizable statues, the head of the lion that once stood perched on the rooftop of the Old State House.

The lion had been taken down for maintenance. Conservator Robert Shure of Skylight Studios took this opportunity to investigate a rumor of a time capsule that could have been embedded in the lion’s head in 1901.

Photo taken by Dina Rudick, Boston Globe

Photo taken by Dina Rudick, Boston Globe

The Boston Globe reports that when a camera was inserted through a small hole, a small copper box could be seen, hidden in the statue.

Retrieving the box is now a difficult matter so as to not destroy the lion itself.

The Bostonian Society hopes to retrieve the box by next week. They are “taking it slow”, making sure they have the best possible method to remove the capsule without destroying the statue as well.

The Bostonian Society found a reference to the knowledge of the time capsule with a Boston Daily Globe article from 1901, with a headline that read “Lion and Unicorn: Copper Box to be Placed in Head of the King of Beasts.”

The article stated the objects that would be put into the time capsule. The objects were “contributions from state and city officials, the Boston Daily Globe newspaper, the name of the maker of the lion and unicorn, and others, which will prove interesting when the box is opened many years hence.”

The Bostonian Society has other suspicions of other items that are contained in the time capsule. Belief of sealed letter from notable Bostonians and campaign buttons from Teddy Roosevelt and Rutherford B. Hayes. These beliefs are based off of the by detail within the article as well as a list provided by the statues’ original artist.

The contents are intended to be put on display if they are not too fragile, Shure said.

“We’re really looking forward to opening it,” said a spokesperson for the Bostonian Society.

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