Campus News

Dayton Cornerstone Removed, Reveals Time Capsule

Story posted September 24, 2008

A full year's run of The Bowdoin Orient, a Bowdoin Bugle and a hockey puck still in its cellophane wrapper were among the items discovered in a time capsule buried within the foundation of Dayton Arena.

The quest began in early September, when Secretary of Development and College Relations John Cross '76 was asked if there were indeed a time capsule at the rink, with hopes such a find might contain something that could be displayed in the new Sidney J. Watson Arena, currently under construction.

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(Clockwise from upper left) Dayton Arena, immediately after the cornerstone was removed; the cornerstone, bearing the year Dayton was built; the 52-year-old hockey puck found inside the time capsule; a waterlogged stack of newspapers and College papers atop the copper box that served as the time capsule.

Cross, who had been a member of the Bowdoin hockey team, approached fellow goalie Peter Rigby '56, who had played a key role in raising funds from students for the Dayton Arena construction project. Cross says Rigby was able to confirm that a time capsule had been placed in the cornerstone.

"It was a thrill for me to be involved — in a very small way — in reconnecting the objects in the cornerstone to one of the people who placed them there," said Cross.

The box held artifacts of the day, including an agenda for the ceremony celebrating the laying of the cornerstone, held at 2 p.m. on June 15, 1956.

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George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives Director Richard Lindemann examines the contents of the time capsule.

Also inside were that day's editions of The Brunswick Record and Portland Press Herald, copies of documents relating to the construction of Dayton, a hockey schedule, a College catalogue and a copy of the president's report.

The box and its contents were turned over to the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives.

The items, most of which were paper, emerged from the box saturated with water.

Don Borkowski, director of capital projects, says it hasn't been decided if the surviving items — the hockey puck and a penny — will be included in the new space.

He says there are no plans to include Dayton's cornerstone in the new structure.

Once Watson Arena is up and running (construction is expected to be complete by January 2009), the current plan is to dismantle Dayton Arena and build a new parking lot on the site.

Read about the new Sidney J. Watson Arena here.

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