Time Capsule Mystery

In 1974, as part of the 250th Anniversary Celebration of Holliston, “someone” buried a time capsule that included pictures drawn by children in third grade. I was told about this by Robert Morse, one of the students whose artwork went into the capsule. Robert lives in Seattle now but is eager to find this relic. I was also contacted by the mother of Amy Petren who found a certificate for the item Amy placed in the capsule.

Although I have the entire list of every activity of the 250th, there is nothing recorded about the time capsule, so this has become a mystery. I have asked everyone I could find that might remember, and the closest I came to an answer was it was buried on the front lawn of Town Hall near the flagpole. And there is an unidentified rectangular “marker” located near that flagpole.

Burial Site

There is a problem with just digging up the front lawn at Town Hall. When the building was rehabbed in 2003, the bones of someone dating back to the 18th Century were unearthed. This stopped construction for a few days. Last year, when the Town was trying to install a new septic tank for Town Hall, James Keast (Facilities Manager) arranged for Ground Penetrating Radar to scan the entire lawn to avoid any similar disruptions.

The radar showed two rows of graves that are extensions of the rows in the Central Burying Ground adjacent to Town Hall. They predate the current Town Hall. There was also this one spot where an unidentified object was buried – right under the unidentified marker!

The Dig

Today, Robert Wagner, Deputy Director for the DPW, manned the backhoe. He was careful not to dig down near the three-foot mark, because no one wanted to dig up bones. Curiosity seekers from Town Hall watched.

After carefully removing the sod, the backhoe pulled out this very oddly shaped something-or-other. Unfortunately, we still do not know if this is the time capsule. The DPW will attempt to use a small jackhammer to break through the concrete where the rectangular part is set atop the circular “stem.” There is no date for this work, yet so the mystery is still just that.

Stay tuned – you’ll read about it on Holliston Reporter!

Mary Greendale


  1. Shaw Lively on September 3, 2023 at 6:53 am

    our own Geraldo Rivera mystery

  2. Bob Nemet on September 5, 2023 at 3:10 am

    Mary, it is Robert Walker

    • Mary Greendale on September 5, 2023 at 9:58 pm

      MY BAD!!! I know that! But Robert Wagner (you know, the actor) came to mind. Old friends. (Joke.) My apologies to Robert Walker.