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Crews find another box that could be 1887 time capsule

1887 time capsule gov Northam.jpg
Real 1887 Time Capsule Lee Statue 1.jpg
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Real 1887 Time Capsule Lee Statue 2.jpg
Posted at 1:08 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 18:19:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The search for the 1887 time capsule inside the area where the towering Robert E. Lee statue once stood over Monument Avenue yielded yet another box believed to be the coveted artifact.

Crews continued their search on Monday as they worked to clean up the remaining pieces of the statue's pedestal. That's when they found a box in the northeast corner of the pedestal site.

Last Wednesday, state conservators spent five hours delicately prying open a corroded lead box found in the tower portion of the pedestal days beforehand that some believed — or at least hoped — was the 1887 time capsule.

But they didn't find the expected trove of objects related to the Confederacy. Instead, conservators pulled out a few waterlogged books, a silver coin and an envelope with some papers.

The location in which the first box was found and the lack of expected items inside led experts to believe it was not the time capsule they hoped it would be.

Historian Dale Brumfield believed the box found on Dec. 17 was less of a time capsule and more of a personal commemorative collection for the men behind the statue's construction.

A newspaper from 1887 suggested that the actual capsule would contain dozens of objects, civil war memorabilia and a picture of Lincoln lying in a coffin that Brumfield said could be worth upwards of $300,000 thousand.

Governor Ralph Northam announced on Monday that the time capsule will be opened on Tuesday at 1 p.m. It will be opened at the Department of Historic Resources lab.

This is a developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.