- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) - Sometimes street repairs can reveal unexpected things.

With South E Street being dug up for major changes, Thomas Owens, owner of the former firehouse on the southwest corner of South Ninth and E streets, decided it was necessary to protect an important asset - a monument marking the site as the location of the Civil War-era Camp Wayne.

Owens, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Kirk Little Post 1108, arranged for Mike Delucio and Son to move the monument to a safe place during the roadwork.

The monument was lifted, and a time capsule was discovered underneath.

About 20 members and friends of the Sons of Union Veterans gathered Saturday at the Wayne County Historical Museum to watch Owens open the time capsule, the Palladium-Item reported (https://pinews.co/1rS0XWG ).

The monument originally was erected by the Sons of Union Veterans on Oct. 8, 1926.

As Owens struggled with the well-soldered box about the size of a videocassette tape, there was a lot of joking about what might be inside.

Gold, suggested one person. A jack in the box. A whoopee cushion. Ideas and chuckles filled the museum’s library room as the minutes passed and Owens worked gingerly with metal cutters to open the capsule without damaging its contents.

“Inside will be instructions on how to open it,” said a voice of authority, drawing a big laugh.

Seconds later, Owens succeeded. He stepped back to let Dennis Rigsby, commander of the Sons of Union Veterans, open the box and remove a small packet of folded papers.

The packet contained a list of the organization’s officers at the time the monument was placed and a copy of the Sept. 19, 1926, issue of the Richmond Item. It took a few minutes more to discover the reason why the newspaper had been preserved so carefully.

“Impressive ceremony arranged for Camp Wayne” reads the headline on Page 5. The story gives details of the monument and the plans for its installation.

“I think it’s great that they even thought to leave us something,” Rigsby said. “I understand a lot of Civil War veterans were still alive (in 1926) and attended that ceremony.”

Owens said he plans to re-install the monument in the spring as the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. He hopes to display it prominently along Ninth Street so it will get the attention it deserves.

___

Information from: Palladium-Item, https://www.pal-item.com


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