Madison County officials find history in unearthing time capsule from 1909

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Madison County took a journey back in time on Monday.

It was more than 109 years ago when a time capsule was buried at the cornerstone of the Madison County Courthouse in Wampsville. On Monday, county leaders unearthed the capsule, revealing the relics from the past.

Nikki Dandignac, of Wampsville, brought her two sons to watch.

"I like history so I thought it would be cool to bring my kids out too and see history," she said.

The capsule was buried on Jan. 7, 1909. Packed inside at the time were photos, Masonic papers, newspapers, programs, coins and so much more.

Matthew Urtz is the historian for Madison County.

"When it came out, it was significantly heavier than we anticipated, so it was about 10-15 pounds," Urtz said.

Inside the box, documents covered in red tape turned out to be something quite unique.

Urtz said back in the day, when court and government records were stored, they were wrapped in red tape. Such a practice led to the phrase "cut through the red tape," which refers to the struggle to get something done in government.

Now, the county is trying to figure out what to store in the next time capsule.

"It would make sense to put coins in from 2018 because they did that from 1908," Urtz said. "It would make sense to put in something from our bicentennial because they had some stuff from the original centennial in 1906."

Irene Cook said she wishes she could be here when the next time capsule is opened.

"Hopefully 110 years from now, when the historian opens it, they'll have just as much fun as we did."

When it does, they, like Cook, will be reliving history, one memento at a time.

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