Time capsules from 1976 discovered hidden in town square monument

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Restoration of the monument at the center of town square is in the homestretch as far as what the American Legion Post 43 and the Town of Jackson would both like to see there in its replacement.  But Monday’s meeting took an exciting turn when time capsules hidden under the monument were uncovered.

Imagery was to be the final concern for all Monday at the regular town council meeting as electeds had directed staff and applicant to add some historical photos of the town as it looked during the time of the conflict portrayed on each of the six panels representing wars, police actions, and other conflicts involving the US.

After seeing the old shots of Jackson, nobody liked them.

“I think adding town images makes it a little too busy and muddy. I’d like to just keep it to the conflict images,” said Hailey Morton Levinson.

Her sentiments were echoed by Arne Jorgensen who agreed the additional photos of the town on each panel “muddied the waters.”

Jim Stanford preferred no photos at all but that ship had sailed. Jonathan Schechter said he also didn’t think a photo was necessary but wanted to move forward not back.

“It feels a bit like building a horse by committee,” he said.

The council agreed to lose the town photos and simply go with one pre-approved image depicting the war concerning each panel as well as the names of the local servicemen and servicewomen who fought in those conflicts.

Time in a bottle

The highlight of the monument discussion was Commander Greg McCoy’s declaration that he had discovered two time capsules after removing the Bucking Bronco from the pedestal. The two small steel cylinders were about the size of a salt shaker. Each was stuffed with odd knickknacks from the mid-1970s.

“I was expecting something bigger,” McCoy admitted when he learned to be on the lookout for the time capsules buried in the monument on September 5, 1976.

Greg McCoy shows the council the two time capsules he found in the town square monument. TOJ

In front of the town council and all in attendance, McCoy pulled out a 13-cent postage stamp, a Navy Seabee logo, a golf tee with a smiley face on it, a “Happy New Year!” pendent, a small firecracker, a sheet of folded paper listing the names of everyone on the committee responsible for erecting the monument, and a newspaper clipping of then-President Gerald Ford making a speech at Old Faithful in commemoration of the bicentennial.

The second capsule contained money. Coins from 1976 in various denominations including a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and one-dollar centennial piece. There was also a lapel of two flags, a statement of conditions at Jackson State Bank (now gone) proclaiming the bank had assets of $43 million, and a home schedule for the Wyoming Cowboys football team that year.

Especially inspiring was a message from the townspeople of the 70s to whoever might be opening their souvenirs of time. “May peace be on this earth when whoever read [sic] this.”

Spelling and grammar were obviously not nearly as popular in ’76 as, say, KC & the Sunshine Band.

The American Legion hopes to have the new statue up by February 2020.

Greg McCoy pulls out the contents of two time capsules as Councilor Jonathan Schechter documents what is in them. (TOJ)

 

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