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St. Louis County commissioners get a glimpse of times past

County leaders look on as 17-year-old Tucker Nelson opens and reveals the contents of a 104-year-old time capsule from the Virginia Courthouse. Nelson had researched the courthouse building, the time capsule and its contents. From left are County Attorney Mark Rubin, Commissioner Keith Nelson, Tucker Nelson, and Commissioners Chris Dahlberg and Pete Stauber.

St. Louis County Board members marveled Tuesday at the dusty old books and the pile of pennies that sat on a table outside the Virginia Courthouse.

Seconds before, 17-year-old Tucker Nelson had lifted the lid from a 104-year-old time capsule that hadn’t been touched since it was built into the cornerstone of the courthouse in 1910.

“The items themselves aren’t unique,” Nelson said. “But they haven’t been touched in 104 years, and that was a very different time.”

The capsule was filled with copies of

Virginia newspapers, a 1910 Roosevelt High  School yearbook, seven 1910 Lincoln pennies and an assortment of other books and papers.

Before the opening, Nelson gave a presentation about the history of the courthouse and speculated as to the objects the capsule might contain.

“We knew what was supposed to be in there,” he said. “I was just hoping it would be in good shape. Everything is in amazing condition.”

Items from the capsule will be put on display inside the courthouse.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to get a glimpse into our rich past,” Commissioner Keith Nelson said.

Local officials are exploring an idea to form a committee that would be in charge of restocking and resealing the capsule.