By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green is being asked to help solve the puzzle of a mystery time capsule buried in City Park. (See update.)
The time capsule, covered in concrete with a rock on top, has been there long enough to have been forgotten. It has gone basically unnoticed for years – except by the person mowing around it.
But earlier this week when city park staff and the architects for the new City Park building walked around the site for the new structure, they happened upon the mystery memorial.
“Somebody told me at some point that it was a time capsule,” Natural Resources Coordinator for BG Parks Chris Gajewicz said.
The engraving in the concrete has a date, though the year is particularly difficult to read. The date appears to be Oct. 2, but the year could be 1958 or 1969 – or anything in between.
“It’s so worn, it’s really hard to tell,” Gajewicz said.
“It’s one of those institutionalized knowledge things that’s gone,” Gajewicz said.
The mystery time capsule would be allowed to rest there undisturbed, except that it is sitting in the footprint of the new City Park building being constructed next year.
Kristin Otley, director of the Bowling Green City Parks and Recreation Department, is confident the city will be able to solve the mystery. She suspects the time capsule is referenced somewhere in old park board minutes.
“There may be records. We just haven’t dug them up – pun intended,” Otley said.
The new building in City Park will take the place of the existing Veterans Building, Girl Scout Building, and the Depot. It has necessitated the moving or replacing of some memorial trees. But so far, the time capsule under the rock is the only unknown in the construction footprint.
“It’s the only mystery,” Otley said.
Seeing that Oct. 2 is the anniversary of the time capsule burial – though the year is unknown – Otley said that date might be a good time to unearth the capsule and see what’s inside.
Gajewicz has posted a photo of the time capsule site on Facebook in hopes of jogging some memories of longtime townies.
So far, the responses have been more humorous than helpful.
“That’s just before I was born. Maybe it was to commemorate me,” one person posted. Another predicted that unearthing the site would not reveal a casket. And another asked “Where’s Lyle Fletcher when we need him,” a reference to a long-gone historian, who could recall just about everything about Bowling Green.
So since Fletcher is gone, it’s up to the rest of Bowling Green to dig into their memory banks to solve the time capsule mystery.