Time Capsule Found From 1971, 1901

July 2022

A time capsule was discovered by Graham Construction at 304 Iowa Avenue that contained items from 1971 and 1901 illustrative of the building's history as a public library.

As Graham Construction crews worked to transform 304 Iowa Avenue into the Stanley Center’s new home, they uncovered a window into the community’s past. A time capsule was fitted behind the cornerstone by Musser Library staff when this building was first built as a library in 1901. During reconstruction and major renovations, a new capsule with then-contemporary items replaced it in 1971.

To honor this artifact of local history, the Stanley Center invited staff from the Musser Public Library to open the time capsule together. Local reporters were present as the copper sides of the capsule were lifted to reveal photographs, a letter, newspapers, annual reports, and other mementos of Muscatine community life. Items from the 1901 time capsule were also included.

In continuance of a century-old tradition, Stanley Center staff will also choose contemporary items reflective of our work and community to place in a new time capsule that will be ensconced within the renovated building (in addition to including select items from 1901 And 1971). What impressions will a later generation have of our current moment in 2022 as they open this artifact in the future?

Watch the full opening of the 1971 time capsule (courtesy of MPL Channel 5):


For more information, read this article by the Muscatine Journal and explore photos of items found in the 1971 time capsule in this article by Discover Muscatine.