Freeman alum searches for time capsule


Freeman alum searches for time capsule
Cindy Durand shows the likely spot where the time capsule was buried back in 1976. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – Somewhere near the front entrance of the old Freeman School on Washington Street, there lies a photo of Henry Winkler as “The Fonz.”

And a Timex watch, postage stamps and currency, baseball cards and more.
These items are part of a time capsule buried on the school grounds in May 1976 by Freeman School fourth-graders in Grace Ponti’s class.

One of these students, Cindy Durand, now lives in Florida. She came back to Marlborough in late June, and she stopped by the site to make sure the capsule is still there.

Each student contributed something to the capsule, including Durand, who submitted a letter.

“Mrs. Ponti took me under her wing,” said Durand about her former teacher.

According to an article published in the Hudson Sun on June 24, 1976, the students went to great lengths to ensure their items remained intact.

Each item was placed in a sealable bag, then placed into a larger plastic bag. This bag was placed inside a large ammunition bag and covered with masking tape to make it waterproof.

The bag was then layered with paraffin as “an added measure against the elements,” said the article.

Freeman alum searches for time capsule
The former Freeman School on Washington Street. The time capsule is likely to be under the bush to the right of center, near the front entrance. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

The capsule is not supposed to be opened until 2026, the 50th anniversary of the burial and the 250th anniversary of the nation’s independence.

Durand said the class had planned to dig up the capsule in 1991, the 25th anniversary of the burial. By that time, Ponti had died, so the class decided to wait until 2026.
That’s just three more years.

Durand brought along a metal detector owned by a family member. She guided the detector along the spot – near the front entrance, behind a retaining wall, under a bush.

A few minutes later, she heard something. She placed her hand over the spot where the time capsule had been buried.

Durand said she’s confident the time capsule is still there – it was buried shortly after the retaining wall was installed, and before the bush was planted.

“I’m glad we got something,” she said.

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