The Waynesville R-VI School District will open a time capsule believed to have been placed inside a building stone 66 years ago at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, in the Lecture Hall at Waynesville High School. The public is invited to attend.

The copper box, sealed within a 1951 stone, was discovered during the demolition of the Roubidoux Center, which formerly served Waynesville’s elementary, middle and high school students. The demolition crew turned the box over to current owners of the property, the Pulaski County Commissioners, who in turn, presented the box to Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent of the Waynesville R-VI School District on Dec. 28.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event; we are very grateful for the crew discovering the box and for the commissioners sharing this find with the district,” said Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent of the Waynesville R-VI School District. “Here it is 66 years later and we will be offered a glimpse into an era when Route 66 – the main street of America – was still in its heyday. The timing of this find and the revival of interest Route 66 have generated quite a buzz in the community about its contents.”

While the box suffered some damage during demolition, the contents remain intact and will remain a mystery until Wednesday’s opening.

“Dwight (Hensley, a 1951 graduate) and I have discussed this,” said Kenny Foster, also a 1951 graduate and a former school board member for many years. “We can’t think of anything that was constructed at that time. The additions were after that from what we could recall.”

“We are excited to see what’s in it,” Foster said. “It will be interesting to see what was placed inside it in 1951.”

Waynesville High School Student Government students will assist with the opening and will assemble their own time capsule.

“At the opening, our students will be taking photos on their cell phones of this event and instantly sharing them with thousands worldwide but in 1951, the first Polaroid instant camera had only been available for about three years,” Henry said. “Time capsules help us step back for a moment and appreciate our history and also to recognize the rapid technological changes we’ve witnessed. I look forward to seeing what today’s students include in their own time capsule.”   

The entrance to the Lecture Hall is located on the east side of the WHS campus, near the entrance to the Ninth Grade Center. The district kindly requests that the parking spaces closest to the lecture hall entrance be reserved for senior citizens who will be attending this event.