Lucy Grant and Richard Davis aren’t even positive the capsule was ever buried.

FARMINGTON – Perhaps the time capsule supposedly buried beneath the dirt in front of the Farmington Municipal Building was meant to be a mystery for the ages.

On Monday, the ground shook as a crew from the Public Works Department jackhammered more than a foot down through the concrete near the base of the flag pole, hoping to turn up the 2-foot-long stainless steel cylinder that was welded shut in 1976 and allegedly placed into the ground where it was scheduled to remain until 2026.

Unfortunately, they had no luck, reported town secretary Linda Grant.

She and Town Manager Richard Davis have been playing Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes, respectively, over the past few months, since an inquiry about the location of the capsule was called in.

“Once it was brought to our attention, obviously, we couldn’t ignore it,” said Davis on Monday. “It’s a big mystery.”

In fact, the two aren’t even positive the capsule, which contains tape-recorded interviews with local people compiled by Paul Mills and other “items of the day,” was ever buried.

Although there were photos taken of a mock burial, staged to celebrate the opening of the new municipal building, there seems to be no documentation of the capsule actually being buried, Grant said.

So, the sleuths are relying on fuzzy stories from locals who say they recall the events surrounding the capsule.

“That’s all it is,” Grant admits, “just stories. We don’t even know if it was ever buried. We’ve made numerous phone calls, and nothing seems concrete. We are just trying to find it while spending the minimum amount of money.”

Now that nearly all the possible locations and rumors have been explored, the town may pursue a final option of using a donated crane to pull out the flagpole and see if the capsule is buried in the shaft.

If the community-history treasure chest isn’t found then, Grant and Davis say it may be the end of the hunt, at least until someone with a solid story comes forward.

If it is found, the capsule will be reburied and the spot will be clearly marked with a bronze plaque so that future generations aren’t forced to go on the same wild goose chase.

“I hope we find something,” says Grant. “The search has been very, very frustrating.”

Anyone with information about the 1976 time capsule is urged to contact Richard Davis or Linda Grant at 778-6538.

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