Time Capsule Contents Revealed
April 11, 2022—Olean— The City of Olean centennial time capsule planted on September 26, 1993 was opened on Monday, April 11, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Olean Municipal Building on the East State Street side.
The City of Olean was incorporated in April 1893 and the committee formed to honor the 100 year anniversary placed a time capsule underground near the Municipal Building mural in 1993 during the Centennial celebration. The committee’s intention was to exhume the capsule during the City’s 125th anniversary in 2018.
A number of former committee members, council members and citizens who contributed to the time capsule attended the ceremony. William J. Aiello, Mayor of the City of Olean, welcomed them and said, “The Committee wanted to open the vault after 25 years. It’s a little late—but better late than never.”
Mayor Aiello added that they ran into a number of problems when the time capsule was exhumed, “It was buried so well that we had a hard time finding it. And once we found it, despite the painstaking preparation by the committee to keep moisture out, water found its way into the capsule. And finally because of the water damage, the vault opened when it was being pulled out of the ground.”
“But thanks to our contractors, Benson Construction and Development, as well as Keri Kerper from Community Development and the City’s engineering staff of David Crandall and Allyson Bretzin, we were able to salvage a great deal of the memorabilia that was placed in the capsule,” Mayor Aiello said.
Following Mayor Aiello’s welcome, committee members were given gloves to allow them to go through the items that had been placed in plastic bags for storage over the weekend. Items included Buffalo Bills and St. Bonaventure collectibles; items from Blue Bird Bus Company and the Old Library; newspapers, city documents and narratives; as well as flags and photographs.
The items have been taken to the William O. Smith Recreation Center to be dried out and hopefully preserved.