City of Sparks finds 50-year-old time capsule hidden at City Hall

By  | 

SPARKS, NV (KOLO) - A blast from the past: the City of Sparks discovered a fifty-year-old time capsule hidden inside the walls of city hall this week.

In an audiotape recently discovered by city officials, the voice of former Sparks Mayor Charles R. Stone echoed loudly during the dedication of Sparks City Hall July 20, 1969.

In the audio, Stone said, “As your mayor I am proud to serve you and more than proud to be part of this momentous occasion."

It was the same day man landed on the moon. Stone continued, “I would like to ask everyone to stand and give one minute of silent prayer to our astronauts in outer space.”

Those city leaders took it upon themselves to remember the dedication and leave behind a few items behind a plaque. It would have been left untouched and hidden inside the walls if it weren't for Assistant Sparks City Clerk Julie Torres. Torres was sorting through old tapes and decided to get them digitized.

Torres said, “Anything we can find like that, we want to get it digitized and so we can them put it in our records management program and preserve forever.”

While listening to those tapes, city officials discovered past city leaders talking about a ‘cornerstone’ during the dedication ceremony.

Community Relations Manager Julie Duewel and others were searching for this cornerstone, hoping it would lead them to the time capsule.

Duewel said, “We walked around city hall; we were looking for this cornerstone and we actually found that it's the picture right here is what used to be the front of City Hall. You can see they are actually putting things in there and it actually is a time capsule.”

Inside the copper box were 29 water-damaged items including things like a copy of the 1936 original deed of the land sale where City Hall was built, the pen used by Mayor Stone to sign the contract, and a desk-sized city of Sparks flag.

Torres said, “It was very heartwarming to know that something bigger than us was here before.”

City Councilman Donald Abbott was surprised with the discovery. "I’ve seen the plaque. I live right here and I walk by all the time, I had no idea we had some history behind there,” said Abbott.

Councilman Kristopher Dahir hopes to one day leave their imprint for future generations. “Leave our mark in a sense for the generations to come, maybe our own little treasure hunt or something,” said Dahir.

The time capsule is currently frozen to preserve the items inside. City officials are hopeful that some of the contents can be restored. The city has reached out to the Nevada state archivist for advice.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019