Half a century ago, Craig Coupland witnessed history in the making.
Coupland was 6 years old when the Historical Society of the Pikes Peak Region buried a time capsule in what was then the new Colorado Springs police building on the corner of Kiowa and Weber streets. The copper box was filled with pictures, books, newspaper clippings and other documents and mementos from 1962 and before, and the historical society left instructions that it be opened 50 years in the future.
“I don’t remember a whole lot except thinking that 50 years away was a long time,” Coupland said.
Coupland saw history unfold again Tuesday — about 50 years and four months later — when the contents of the box were revealed during a ceremony at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
“I think the coolest thing about this is the fact that my grandkids are here to see this,” said Coupland, whose uncle was the police chief 50 years ago and his grandfather a vice president of the historical society.
“Think about all the generations of my family that are here,” he said. “My son’s here. My grandkids. Of course my grandfather, my father and myself.”
The box had been sitting on a shelf at the Pioneers Museum after the old police building was renovated in 1996.
Museum Director Matt Mayberry said the museum has at least two other time capsules and has opened four or five others.
“Time capsules are a little bit like miniature museums, so it’ll be very exciting to see what this museum has in store for us,” Mayberry said before the box was opened.
Artifacts included a picture of the five-member police force in 1882, ballots from the April 1961 municipal election and two telephone books.
Mayor Steve Bach, who joked that he hoped the box contained cash because of the city’s financial needs, and police Chief Pete Carey attended Tuesday’s ceremony.
Carey wants to display the 130 items in the box at the Police Operations Center, police spokeswoman Barbara Miller said.
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