Search For Time Capsule Uncovers Hidden History

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When Athens knocked down its city hall, they expected to find history.

They hoped to find a time capsule.

But instead of filling in gaps in the city's history, they put a gaping hole in it.

That hole originated as a cellar from a house built in the 1800's that sat on this plot of land before city hall.

Mayor Ronnie Marks explains, "We had some settlement problems with the structure of the old city council chambers, and lo and behold, we found out why.  Because there was a cellar in the basement there."

The cellar sat underneath a house with a lot of history.  It once belonged to the judge who oversaw the trial of the Scottsboro Boys, a racially charged trial that ignited national controversy in the 1930's.

Homeowner Kathy Garrett says, "The house was originally built in 1848, and it was built by my great- great- great-uncle.  His wife, my great- great- great- grandmother inherited it from him, so that's how it came through us."

Eventually the family moved the home, leaving the land for public use.

Garrett says, "In the late thirties they bought the farm down here, and they decided to move the house.  So they disassembled the house, piece by piece."

But there was one piece they couldn't take with them.