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Time capsule found underneath Frederick Douglass statue

Oct 22, 2019

Credit Larry Staub

The project that involves moving an historic statue of Frederick Douglass within Highland Park to a more prominent location yielded a surprise this week.

Workers discovered a time capsule beneath the base of the statue located in the Highland Bowl. Director of Parks for Monroe County Larry Staub says the capsule was actually a waterlogged tin box, that has a bunch of what appears to be old newspapers, books and other items.

He says workers didn't want to disturb the material too much until it can be preserved, and he says local experts will likely be brought in to do that. 

“Both the county historian and city historian are very keen to take a look at it and bring in a conservator or some assistance from people who specialize in this,” Staub said. 

The statue of Frederick Douglass is the first monument for a black person in the United States.

It was unveiled on St. Paul Street near Central Avenue in 1899 near the train station and in 1941 it was moved to Highland Park which is when Staub says the time capsule was likely buried there.