Breckenridge time capsule contents revealed at Masonic ceremony |

Breckenridge time capsule contents revealed at Masonic ceremony

summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – Hundreds of spectators gathered Saturday morning at the cornerstone of Summit County Courthouse for a historic Masonic ceremony and presentation of a 100-year-old time capsule’s contents.

The little copper box – which had been cracked open in advance – has preserved coins, samples of bonds, maps, a book of poems and copies of local newspapers from 1909 in mint condition.

Locals and visitors of all ages watched from the courthouse lawn as a series of bag-pipers and Masons adorned with jewels and white aprons walked up Lincoln Avenue to the courthouse cornerstone.

Charles Johnson, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Colorado, led the same ceremony presented at the site in 1909 – as well as at cornerstone ceremonies for the Colorado State Capitol and the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Breckenridge Mayor John Warner spoke of the town in 2109, when the new time capsule will presumably be opened.

“I think our forests are going to be beautiful in 100 years,” he said, alluding to the post-mountain pine-beetle generation of vegetation.

He said he foresees a more “sustainable and diverse community” with more workforce housing and childcare. Transit will be further developed, and communities will be more “walkable.”

Warner showed the crowd some of the items planned for insertion in the next time capsule.

The first items were pictures by a fourth-grader from Breckenridge Elementary drawn to depict the town today compared with how it will look in 100 years. The picture of the future includes 200-foot-tall buildings and space ships.

Summit High School 2009 graduate and student body president Hayden Hedman contributed a DVD with interviews of fellow students who talk about growing up in Summit, as well as their thoughts on skiing, Iraq, global warming and the election of the country’s first African-American president.

“They had optimism for their future,” Warner said.

A vial of the notorious mountain pine beetles – as carried by State Sen. Dan Gibbs – is to be included in the capsule as well.

Other contributions include a phone book, a collection of 50 commemorative state quarters, a ski area maps and tickets, a Summit Daily and a U.S. Forest Service DVD.

Warner waved a multi-colored ski hat before the crowd, indicating it would be placed in the box, too.

“I wouldn’t be caught dead in this thing, but it’s kind of new wave,” he said.

Saturday’s ceremony included laying of wet cement at the cornerstone and the pouring of wine and oil as part of Masonic tradition.

The next time capsule’s placement is to be decided by the county commissioners, and may occur next March – at the 100th anniversary of the building’s dedication.

When county Commissioner Bob French showed the crowd the first time capsule’s contents, he spoke of how things have changed in 100 years but that residents continue many of the same values.

According to an excerpt from the July, 31, 1909 (when the capsule was sealed) Summit County Journal:

“Good order, splendid society and moral influences surround every dweller in the county. Modern homes and hotels, creditable business houses, smooth roads and all the other conveniences and luxuries enjoyed by older states are in evidence here, thus making life in the interior of the Rocky Mountains as inviting as anywhere else on Earth.”

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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