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110-year-old time capsule pulled from Calgary’s Historic City Hall cornerstone

Sealed in a copper box in the cornerstone of Calgary’s historic city hall was a time capsule, filled with goodies from more than a century ago.

On Thursday, that time capsule was opened during a ceremony with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and members of city council.

The box was placed in the historic city hall cornerstone by then mayor Arthur L. Cameron, alongside former mayors George Murdock and George King back on Sept. 15, 1908.

The capsule was removed as a part of the ongoing renovation of historic city hall.

“I am honoured to have been called upon to retrieve this time capsule placed here by Mayor Cameron in 1908” said Mayor  Nenshi, in a prepared release

“The time capsule is a piece of history that belongs to all Calgarians and I am privileged to be able to retrieve it on their behalf.”

The cornerstone’s sealed copper box (the time capsule) contains the following items:

  • New Testament.
  • Bylaws, The City of Calgary,
  • Financial report, The City of Calgary A.D. 1907.
  • Voters’ list, The City of Calgary, A.D. 1907.
  • Album of dominion exhibition. Calgary. A.S. 1908
  • Report of Grand Lodge of Masona of Alberta. A.D. 1908.
  • Report of Grand Lodge of Oddfellows of Alberta, A.D. 1908.
  • Report of General hospital, A.D. 1907
  • Report of school board, Calgary, A.D 1907
  • Tercentenary stamps, Canada, A.D. 1908
  • Coins, 50c, 25c, 10c, and 5c, Dominion of Canada.
  • Copy of history of Roman Catholic church, Calgary. A.D. 1907.
  • Medal of Chairman of Police department
  • Medal of city comptroller.
  • Members of fire department. (List)
  • Report of Knox church, Calgary,
  • Members of police department. (List)
  • Proceedings of synod of Church of England for western Canada.
  • Minutes of Alberta conference of Methodist church.
  • Year book of the Central Methodist church.
  • Report of Baptist church.
  • Copy of Daily Herald.
  • Copy of Morning Albertans.
  • Copy of special edition of Albertan.
  • Copy of Daily News.
  • Copy of Eye Opener.

The city is working with professionals to preserve the contents of the time capsule.

Work is also underway for a new capsule to be placed in historic city hall once construction has complete. Public engagement will be done to determine what items should be placed in that capsule to describe Calgarians’ lives today.