Zion Lutheran Time Capsule

Chris Meyer opens a 1968 time capsule found inside Zion Lutheran Church.

A copy of The Capital Times from 1968 was among items that were revealed during an opening of a time capsule Thursday that was found in the wall of Zion Lutheran Church.

The time capsule, which was put together by members of the church back in the 1960s, was opened during a community gathering in front of the makerspace Sector67 on Madison's east side, just a few blocks away from the soon-to-be-redeveloped church.

A crowd of people gathered to watch the big reveal. Sector67 founder Chris Meyer drilled into the copper time capsule (being very careful to avoid its sharp edges!) and pulled the items out one by one.

The time capsule contained a Cap Times print edition from August 1968 that mentioned the church, several church-related pamphlets, the church’s constitution, an old church directory and a brief history of the church.

Zion Lutheran Church, located at 2165 Linden Ave., is being demolished and redeveloped by local developer Threshold Development.

The Madison City Council approved the redevelopment in May and Threshold is planning to build a three-story, 32-unit apartment building on the site.

Meyer supervised a crew that was going through the building seeking to preserve structural items — like railings, a 40-foot glass door and other items of value — that Sector 67 could reuse or sell.

Meyer acted on a tip he got from a neighborhood resident who thought they remembered something about a time capsule being placed inside of one of the church walls.

“Someone said that when they were a kid they went to Zion and remembered there was a time capsule behind the date stone,” Meyer said.

The crew was able to find the time capsule and decided to open it during a public ceremony on Thursday night.

“I thought it was great,” Meyer said of the reveal crowd. “I thought there’s either going to be no people here or lots of people here.”

Meyer told the Cap Times that he was informed by a resident during the reveal that there may be a second time capsule buried near the Zion Lutheran sign at the church.

“He believes there’s another one near the sign. There’s a Zion Church sign,” Meyer said. “So he’s going to take a metal detector out there and see if he can find it.”

Meyer said if it is found they may have another big reveal gathering, based on the level of interest neighbors have in doing it.

“We’ll see what people are interested in doing,” he said. “One lady said she remembered a time capsule being set up with objects from kids in a classroom. We’ll find out how that works out.”

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