Time capsule buried at former Cortana Mall unearthed 45 years later
BATON ROUGE – A piece of history buried in the ground 45 years ago has been unearthed at the former Cortana Mall. According to reports, mementos were placed inside the time capsule two separate times.
"There’s some toe socks, things that make it in the future,” laughed Melissa Eastin.
Eastin is an archivist with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library and helped locate the capsule. It was buried under the sidewalk outside of the former Dillard's store. Now that the mall is being demolished to make way for a massive Amazon warehouse, Eastin thought it was the perfect time to revisit the past.
"I thought this was really sweet... some measuring cups,” said Eastin taking out the items one by one.
Eastin says the capsule was buried in 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial Celebration at the then brand new Cortana Mall. Students from Sherwood Forest Elementary and other schools put in some prized possessions including a gumball machine, small toy airplane and a glass coke bottle.
It was first dug up back in 2001, and more mementos were added.
“The second interment was for the anniversary of Goudchaux's so it's more adult things like cell phones or the coins, and involvement from local radio stations,” said Eastin.
Water damage destroyed some of the items though.
"I'd say 90 percent of the contents in the capsule were paper and photographs so we don't get to see what was on there. There were some audio and video cassettes that were un-salvageable,” said Eastin.
The bits of history will now be placed in a freezer for a month at the Main Library on Goodwood Blvd.
“It arrests any kind of mold growth, if there are insects it kills the insects and it also helps dry them out,” explained Eastin.
Eastin will continue to try to clean the belongings and put them on display. There is someone who might want to take a peek.
"If anyone knows who Gary Owens is this is the only name I've found on this,” said Eastin holding up a bright red Frisbee.
The unearthing is coming at monumental time. People will be able to take a look into the past during a period when what used to be a very popular shopping center will drastically change once again.
Those at the library say there are six or seven time capsules still buried under ground around the capitol city.
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