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50-year-old time capsule opened in Meredith

Union Leader Correspondent

July 05. 2018 9:42PM
Carl Johnson Jr. holds an Annalee Doll aloft after taking it out of a time capsule buried in 1968. The late Annalee Thorndike who created the whimsical posable felt dolls lived in Meredith. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

MEREDITH — A capacity crowd packed the ballroom at the Chase House on Saturday to watch as a time capsule buried 50 years ago was opened and the contents revealed.

Carl Johnson Jr., who served as master of ceremonies, said the huge turnout was a testament to the town and the people in it. The event was one in an ongoing series as the town celebrates its 250th anniversary.

Wearing a rainbow colored tie-dyed T-shirt and a blue bandana headband in homage to 1968 — the year the capsule was created — Johnson wasted no time in getting to the business at hand and hoisted a sledgehammer aloft, telling those sitting just a feet away to be prepared as the debris was about the fly.

He took a mock swing at the capsule before using a crowbar to pry off the cover.

Among the more noteworthy items retrieved was an original Archie comic strip inked by the late Bob Montana, with the hand-written and autographed inscription “Best wishes for the future in 2018.”

Another notable find was an original special edition Annalee Doll created for the town’s bicentennial celebration, and a Time magazine with a cover designed by artist Peter Maxx. Many of the paper items had been damaged by moisture and will be sent to a preservationist.

A passbook for a Meredith Village Savings Bank account opened with a $10 deposit in 1968 was also pulled from the capsule. Johnson explained the residual was to be presented to the town’s first-born baby of 2018.

Once the bank is able to tabulate the 50 years of interest, Johnson said the money will be given to Colton Boxer, who was born on Jan. 4 and was in attendance with his parents Joe and Sasha Boxer.

Johnson also recognized Buddy Green as the first baby of 1968, who was also at Saturday’s time capsule reveal.

Betty Strader, a member of the Meredith Public Library Board of Trustees, created a slide show set to popular music of 1968 that included multiple photos of events that were held during the town’s 200th anniversary celebration ranging from a grand street parade to a beard-growing contest.

Earlier, Meredith Public Library Director Erin Epostolos welcomed the crowd that packed the ballroom at the Chase House to watch the capsule opening “to an event, 50 years in the making.”

The capsule that had been buried on the front lawn at the library was unearthed in May to avoid disrupting the planting schedule of the flower garden the Friends of the Library annually cultivate and tend.

Epostolos said that the Public Works Department spent the better part of an hour trying to break the seal of the cistern the time capsule was entombed in before getting a backhoe from the water department. The bonding agent used to seal the top of the cistern was so strong that when they tried to lift it off with the backhoe the handle snapped, she said.

Early Saturday afternoon the time capsule was moved to the Chase House in a parade organized by selectmen and Library Trustee Jonathan James.

Led by a police escort and accompanied by five drummers, the cement box was transported in an antique car owned and driven by Peter Currier, who was among those who originally helped create and bury the capsule.

History Meredith

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