No one was sure what to expect.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, dozens gathered to watch the city unearth what they hoped would be a time capsule buried by the Tolovana Arts Colony.
This summer, a resident tipped off the city to the existence of the time capsule, which he said was buried by the Tolovana Park Community Club 50 years ago. After some digging, an article marking the moment on Nov. 7, 1968, was found in the Seaside Signal.
But past knowing something was supposed to be buried underneath the former flag pole, the city was flying somewhat blind.
“I think the mystery and enthusiasm helped build the momentum,” Public Works Director Karen La Bonte said. “We had no idea what we were in for, but that’s part of the fun, too.”
After about 20 minutes of drilling, chipping and buzzsawing, a copper tube emerged. The tube, about 1 ½ feet tall and about 4 inches in diameter, was sautered so tightly public works employees had to slowly and diligently saw it open, prompting people in the crowd to shout out their guesses of what would be inside.
“Maybe it’s just a note that says the real one is two feet to the right,” someone joked.
“Maybe it’s just a knock-knock joke!” yelled another.
But once opened, the capsule revealed artifacts such as 50-year-old newspaper articles, a presidential election flyer, aerial photos of Cannon Beach, and magazine clippings of some of the latest hairstyles, clothes, planes and cars. The canister also featured a detailed history of the building that used to house Tolovana Park Community Club and now hosts the Tolovana Arts Colony. All items will be donated to the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum.
“There’s some really fun stuff in here,” Mayor Sam Steidel said as he poured over articles in the 1968 newspaper. One in particular caught his eye.
“Five people ran for city council ... wow,” he chuckled.
A personal connection
For some attending the ceremony, the time capsule was personal. Robert and Lori Moon, as well as a handful of other family members, drove more than 1,000 miles from Nevada to attend. Lori Moon was 23 year old when she attended the original ceremony in 1968, but was filled with as much suspense as the rest of the crowd.
“It was 50 years ago, I don’t remember what was put in,” she said. “I’m here to find out.”
The family made the trek to honor Lori and Robert’s son, Scott, who was featured in a photo with his Robert Moon’s father, a member of the club at the time, and Congressman Wendell Wyatt at the original dedication ceremony. Scott Moon died about a year ago.
“We just wanted to honor him,” Lori Moon said.
The city will continue the tradition with a new time capsule in the same location. Over the past couple of months, residents have been invited to bring items “smaller than a shoe box” to put into the new vessel. Because the new capsule does not fit the space of the old one, residents are invited to continue bringing items throughout this week until a date is decided for burying the new capsule.
“Hopefully someone will want to go to the trouble of opening it 50 years from now,” City Manager Bruce St. Denis said.
Below is a list of what the city has collected so far:
• Cell phone.
• Numerous newspaper articles on affordable housing challenges, our first pot shop opening, the new city manager and the plans for unearthing the 50-year-old time capsule.
• Public works hat.
• Glass art from Ice Fire gallery.
• Pictures of downtown Cannon Beach during the annual Fourth of July parade, a town photo, plus a flash drive with hundreds of photos.
• A video of Cannon Beach showing archived photos.
• A story and hand drawn artist drawing from Tolovana Art Colony.
• A copy of the Cannon Beach magazine from the Chamber of Commerce.
• Children’s art work and questions about the future from the Cannon Beach Academy.
• A menu from The Driftwood restaurant.
• Beach trash art from Haystack Awareness Program.
• A soft bunny.
• A soft puffin.
• CD and classic movie video.
• Numerous articles from local residents of past members of the Arts Colony as well as current events of Cannon Beach.