Damn! I’m Sure I Put That Time Capsule Somewhere Around Here …

Those pesky time capsules.

We keep burying them. And keep forgetting where they are.

It happened a few years ago with Greens Farms Elementary School.

Now it’s Saugatuck Congregational Church’s turn.

In 1866 a time capsule was buried under the cornerstone of their then-new Sunday school building. The church was located across the Post Road, and up the hill from where it is now — approximately where the gas station and adjacent bank are, near South Compo Road.

Saugatuck Congregational Church, at its original site.

In 1950 the church was moved — v-e-r-y slowly — across the street, to its current location by Myrtle Avenue. At the same time the school building was relocated to Imperial Avenue, where it created what is now Bedford Hall at the Westport Woman’s Club.

In the 1950s, Life Magazine ran photos of Bedford Hall being moved from the Post Road to Imperial Avenue.

The cornerstone was not unearthed during the move. No one seems to know what happened to it.

Now — 68 years later — the Westport Historical Society is on the case.

If you have any idea of the whereabouts of the Saugatuck Church cornerstone — or hey, any other in town — email info@westporthistory.org.

And for God’s sake, the next time you bury a time capsule, leave detailed instructions!

6 responses to “Damn! I’m Sure I Put That Time Capsule Somewhere Around Here …

  1. Danny @ Willowbrook Cemetery

    I have full faith that the WHS will find it! Willowbrook Cemetery is orchestrating a substantial time capsule for 2020. We will be celebrating Westport’s birthday! (185 years!) Stay tuned!

  2. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    Since I do not really have any information to share I’ll post here rather than clogging the Historical Society with guess work.
    So here are two suggestions; Time capsules are sometimes placed in the actual building, at a corner point and considered “Corner Stones”. The “Corner” connects the sides of the building and supports it so placing the time capsule there is placing the history if the structure at a place that makes the building “sound”. I remember the moving of the church well. Most of the town turned out to watch at one point or another. I also think that Dan has posted pictures of that event on 06880. However, I think that when the church and Sunday school were separated and moved there was some excavation work done. Am just dreaming or misremembering? I think that the “hill” the church was on was cut back. Wasn’t Main street widened? If I am close to correct and the time capsule was buried outside the building then perhaps it was scooped up by a “digger and went off to a landfill in the back of a dump truck. I do hope a few of the other “old timers” will respond for interest or hopefully with actual information.

  3. In 1991, Westport resident Peter McGovern contacted the NY Times to provide correct information regarding the year the church was moved. Mr. Govern’s letter to the editor can be found here:

    Note the last paragraph, which states:

    “Today, even old-time residents have forgotten the church courtyard, on what was once Morris K. Kesup’s [sic] eight acres, is the resting place of the town’s time capsule containing area artifacts, buried there in patriotic ceremonies during the 1976 Bicentennial.”

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

      Thank You! Hopefully the Westport Historical Society checks Dan’s Blog which is very informative…obviously.

  4. Robert Mitchell

    Appreciate your input, but we at WHS are talking about a different time capsule. Not the Town 1976 Bicentennial capsule, but a Saugatuck Church 1866 capsule.

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

      Oops! I misunderstood. Perhaps my first post was closer to what might have happened. Hopefully not. Surely there is a record of where it is…somewhere…

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