Ridgefield elementary school unearths 1977 time capsule

Some of the objects found in the container, including a copy of the Ridgefield Press

Some of the objects found in the container, including a copy of the Ridgefield Press

/ Ridgebury Elementary School

RIDGEFIELD — When Ridgebury Elementary School Principal Jamie Palladino arrived at the school 10 years ago, he had heard a time capsule was buried near the Ridgebury Elementary flagpole.

However, when they dug around the flagpole, they never found the historical treasure nor a map.

People have searched for the time capsule, but have been wrong about its location for years. Palladino said the discovery instead happened by chance.

An oil truck came to switch out the old oil tank when it hit something while digging: a mysterious red, white, and blue plastic container. When they unearthed the vessel, it was the 1977 time capsule, Palladino said.

In 1977, students and staff included a project from every class and photos of everyday items. Some other objects found were a vinyl record, newspapers, school notes and letters. Particularly striking are letters from governors across the country and the 1977 students’ cursive, which might not be legible to today’s students. While there was water damage making some documents brittle, much is well maintained.

Palladino opened and will display the contents for students and staff to commemorate the 100th day of school.

He said Ridgebury Elementary School plans do its own time capsule this spring, which will be fascinating during this historic pandemic year. The school is also working on a website, which will be an archive of the findings in the capsule.

After sharing the contents with the public, RES will re-bury the 1977 time capsule with their own from 2021 for future Ridgefield residents.

This time, they will make sure they leave a map.