Plans to Remove JDC Time Capsule Postponed

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 22, 2023 at 2:21pm

Plans for the removal of a time capsule from the grounds of a state institution in Jacksonville are on hold for now.

The Jacksonville Area Museum is planning to salvage a number of key items from JDC for preservation. Items include the time capsule that was buried on the grounds in 1997 just southwest of the Gillette Building.

Museum officials say the time capsule will not be opened, but will instead be stored at the museum until it can be reburied on the JDC grounds at a future date for its eventual unearthing in the year 2047 as originally intended when it was first deposited.

Among other items that will be salvaged are the metal letters from the facility’s sign at the corner of South Diamond and West Morton Avenue.

The plan was to unearth the capsule and collect the other items this Friday at noon, however with the continued threat of stormy weather this week, the museum board has decided to postpone the work until weather conditions and schedules are more favorable.

Jacksonville Area Museum Board Chair Allan Worrell said in the project announcement, the museum plans to develop a new exhibit on the long-lived state institution.

He says JDC is a major part of the community’s history and with recent talk of the potential demolition of the complex, the board decided now was the best time to try and preserve the items for future generations.

Earlier this month, 99th District Representative Randy Frese sponsored legislation in the General Assembly earmarking more than $67 million for the abatement and demolition of the long-abandoned buildings.

Plans for the museum’s exhibit will include involving area school children in the re-interment of the time capsule, which was buried in 1997 to commemorate the Jacksonville Developmental Center’s 150th anniversary.

Jacksonville Area Museum Manager McKenna Servis announced the postponement of the project due to weather this morning and says once a new date is selected, the public will again be welcomed to watch the removal process.

The Jacksonville Area Museum is located in the old Post Office building at 301 E. State St. There is no admission fee, but a donation of $5 is suggested to keep the museum operating.

Visit or connect with the Jacksonville Area Museum on Facebook for more information or to find out how to become a museum member or volunteer.