The laying of the cornerstone of the new Cowley Community Hall, now commonly known as the Cowley Log Gym, on Feb. 25, 1935, was reported with great fanfare in the March 1 edition of the Cowley Progress that year, and the article included a reference to the placing of a time capsule.
“A bottle, in which was placed, in writing, the history of Cowley from 1901 to the date of the corner stone laying, Monday, Feb. 25, 1935, among a few other articles, including a copy of The Cowley Progress, were placed in the space provided in the cornerstone,” wrote the Progress in 1935.
A grand opening for the new Cowley Community Hall was held on June 12, 1936.
Cowley historian and former mayor Roland Simmons found the cornerstone article in 1999 and asked then Mayor Dee Ray Peterson if he could dig up the outside of the southeast corner of the building in search of the time capsule.
“We dug up the southeast side but didn’t find it,” Simmons said. “We found pieces of a bottle, but it wasn’t big enough to be a capsule. Normally, the cornerstone is the first thing laid for a building, and it was February 25 when it was laid. And space was provided in the cornerstone. That’s virtually all I had to go on.”
Fast forward a few years to the fall of 2012. This fall’s renovation of the log gym provided Simmons a fresh opportunity to not only search for the 1935 time capsule but also to plan a new one.
“I didn’t think of it again until they started tearing the floor out,” Simmons said. “I thought, ‘Maybe it’s on the inside.’”
Cowley’s own Indiana Jones started digging again, starting again in the southeast corner.
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