Five things to know about the new Mayo Civic Center time capsule

October 8, 2018

Matching one that was put into place 80 years ago, a time capsule was slid behind a set of bricks Friday in Mayo Civic Center.

The new capsule, loaded with items from recent decades, is part of the permanent redesign of the newly named Dr. Charles H. Mayo Presentation Hall.

It will be sealed behind one of the original Presentation Hall’s brick walls south of the lobby, steps from the original cornerstone placed on July 28, 1938.

Here are a few things to know about the new capsule and its contents:

1 The box is a piece of recreated history.

The copper capsule was created based on construction designs that were recently rediscovered, according to David Eide, senior construction manager at Mayo Clinic.

Using the designs, Mayo Clinic was able to recreate an replica of the original time capsule, which is assumed to still exist behind the original 1938 cornerstone, which was uncovered earlier this year as part of renovation efforts.

2 Ken Burns’ visit is memorialized.

An invitation to “An Evening With Ken Burns,” which featured the premiere of his new documentary, “The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science,” was placed in the new capsule, along with a copy of the Sept. 11, 2018, Post Bulletin with an article covering the event.

The Burns documentary looks at the clinic’s impact on Rochester and the health care industry.

3 Postal perspective preserved.

A Mayo Brothers postage stamp from the first day it was issued — Sept. 11, 1964 — was included in the capsule, which Matt Dacy, Mayo Clinic’s Heritage Days chairman, said is one of the more unique items gathered for Friday’s event.

The green, 5-cent stamp was the result of several years of planning and advocacy from Rochester stamp enthusiasts, who contacted Eleanor Roosevelt and other leaders for support. It’s issuance became a focal point of the Mayo Centennial Year in 1964.

4 Mayowood is remembered.

Several items, including notecards and a pen, are references to Mayowood mansion, which was built in 1911 by Dr. Charles H. Mayo.

The pen is one of several made from hemlock trees that were removed after they had lived past their prime, Dacy said.

5 Recent memories are also preserved.

The time capsule also includes tickets to recent performances at the Mayo Civic Center, including Three Dog Night, Jamey Johnson, “Weird Al” Yankovic and “Paw Patrol Live.”

“A lot of those shows were sold out,” Mayo Civic Center Executive Director Donna Drews said, noting the tickets were all donated by people who attended the events.

Other items, including a proclamation by Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede, items from the dedication of the new exhibit and the Mayo Civic Center’s annual report combine to show the location is an intentional community crossroads, Dacy said.

“Many great things have happened here in the history of the Mayo Civic Center,” he said. “I think everyone in the community and region has memories and great association with events here.”

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