Madison in the Past: A Time Capsule Unearthed


Austin Minor, Writer

This year is Alabama’s bicentennial, which means it’s the state’s 200th birthday. Formed as a territory on March 3, 1987, Alabama became the 22nd state in 1819. Madison’s history is a little more complicated. The city’s official website states that the first settler came here in 1818, but the town began to form when the railroad tracks were laid in 1856. The town steadily grew over the years: 15,000 in 1990, 30,000 in 2000, and 43,000 in 2010.

In the 1960s, Madison residents buried a time capsule at what is now Madison Elementary, and it was excavated this week, 50 years later. Mayor Finley, Superintendent Parker, and other dignitaries attended the event.

According to the Madison Record, the time capsule contains an old map of Madison, business trinkets, vinyl records, photographs, toys, and other items. The capsule weighs between 800-1000 lbs, which means it probably holds a great deal of these items. If you want to see what all is inside of it, you can see all the items on display on October 27 at 2:00 P.M. at Madison Elementary. There will also be a Facebook Livestream if you can’t attend the unveiling in person.

With the state’s Bicentennial and Madison’s time capsule unveiling in mind, how would we want our city remembered? If we were to bury our own time capsule for residents of Madison 50 years from now, what would we include? Would it even be a physically buried time capsule or something digital?

Our staff’s best guesses include Trash Panda swag, a Chick-Fil-A coupon, BJ/JC spirit wear, a traffic cone, and a photo of Superintendent Robby Parker.