1909 Time Capsule 2017-07-12T12:54:36+00:00

1909 Time Capsule

In preparation for the 130th Gala Celebration, the Salt Lake Chamber unearthed a time capsule that was placed behind the cornerstone of the Commercial Club Building on Exchange Place on July 5th, 1909. The time capsule was made out of a copper alloy box, so when it was opened, the Chamber found everything was intact.

The Salt Lake Chamber is planning to replace the copper box time capsule with a new copper time capsule at it’s upcoming board retreat.

Time capsule contents include: 

  • Commercial Club 1909 Year Book; Tribune Reporter Printing Co., Salt Lake City – May 1909
  • Holy Bible, Scholar’s Edition; The John C. Winston Co. International Bible Press, Philadelphia USA
  • Business card for F.R. Hotlon, James Stewart and Company Contractors, Salt Lake City, UT – 1909
  • Business card for J.J. Rourke, superintendent of James Stewart and Company Contractors, Salt Lake City, UT – 1909
  • Sealed envelope with the return address for James Stewart and Company Contractors, St. Louis; and accompanying note – 1909
  • Typewritten copy of address given by J. Halloran, president of the Commercial Club – 1909
  • Booklet – Petition and Complaint Before the Interstate Commerce Commission, Commercial Club Traffic Bureau of SLC, UT v. Railroad Companies; F.W. Gardiner Co. Press, Salt Lake City – 1909
  • Copy of the address of Judge O.W. Powers at the laying of the cornerstone of the Commercial Club Building – Monday, July 5th, 1909

History of the Time Capsule

The time capsule was placed behind the cornerstone of the Commercial Club Building on Exchange Place on July 5th, 1909. A newspaper from the time said the following:

“In order that future generations may know the history and record of the Commercial Club of Salt Lake up to this time, a box was filled with documents. These included copies of the addresses delivered yesterday and the resolution of thanks to Mr. Newhouse, together with his response, a copy of the Bible, numerous books and pamphlets containing data and miscellaneous information. This box was deposited in a cavity in the center of the base and covered with cement.

The final act of loweing the great corner stone was performed by President Halloran, who applied cement with a silver trowel, the souvenir gift of the Stewart Construction company, which had the contract for the building. The exercises closed with selections by the band. The entire program consumed about an hour and a half of time.”

Locating and Removal of the Time Capsule

In preparation for the 130th Gala Celebration, the Salt Lake Chamber Gala Committee decided to excavate the 108 year-old time capsule. While at the time the Chamber did not know exactly where it was located. Thankfully, with help from newspaper articles of the day, local historians and Masonry Restoration the Chamber easily and successfully identified the location of the capsule.

On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, after months of prep work, the time capsule was ready to be removed from the cornerstone of the Commercial Club Building. Some the Chamber executive board and staff gathered to see this momentous occasion.

Opening of the Time Capsule

On April 21, the Salt Lake Chamber opened the time capsule with help from local conservator Robyn Haynie.

Burying the Time Capsule

On June 13, 2017 the Chamber placed a new time capsule into the original cornerstone of the Commercial Club Building, which replaces the 108-year-old time capsule Commercial Club members hid away on July 5th, 1909.

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