Athens man digs up 25-year-old time capsule during downtown sidewalk construction

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ATHENS, Ala. – Athens Public Works has been restoring sidewalks downtown for weeks now.

Wednesday, the team reached the sidewalk on Washington Street in front of Hendricks – Patton Furniture and Appliance.

And what was buried beneath the surface meant quite a bit to Roy Patton, vice president of the store.

“I’ve always liked to bury things. I’ve buried several time capsules. And I said this would be a great opportunity just to put one in real quick,” he explained. “A few pictures, some money, wrote a couple letters and notes in there.”

Unfortunately, his capsule wrapping skills weren’t the best.

“I wrapped it with bubble wrap and tinfoil, which we all know is waterproof… which it wasn’t,” Patton explained.

But after nearly 25 years, Patton said it’s amazing how much his life has changed.

The capsule was buried four months before his twins were born.

Philip and Bolton Patton
Philip and Bolton Patton

“We didn’t know what they were going to be and they ended up being boys,”

The boys, Philip and Bolton, are now men and have both graduated from college.

Thursday, Patton and his father Bucky Patton buried two new capsules with some pretty cool contents.

“I got letters from the mayor and a bicentennial coin. I`ve got a letter from the county commission, he added. “These letters were written to the future.”

These new capsules were constructed to withstand the test of time.

“I put them in 4-inch pipe with glued ends and hopefully they’re going to be airtight in ziplock bags,” said Patton.

He said he believes he’ll be here to rediscover the capsules in another quarter-century.

“I put it in a little deeper this time and so just the scraping of a new sidewalk won’t find it. They’ll have to probe a little deeper this time.”

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