Opening the time capsule that was buried in 1968 may be a bigger deal than a lot of us realize.

There are citizens who were around when the time capsule was buried, but there was so much going on in town that week that most folks don’t recall any details about the time capsule.

The only person I talked to who remembers seeing the time capsule buried was Michelle Bruns, who was 6 at the time.

It was buried near the Veterans Monument at Second and Union streets. When people started looking recently for exactly where it was buried they used metal detectors, which didn’t work.

Finally someone had the forethought to check with Michelle.

“Metal detectors aren’t going to find anything because the capsule is buried inside a concrete vault,” Michelle said. “It was a baby vault.”

A baby vault, it turns out, is a burial vault, constructed for an infant casket. Also, it was buried very deep because the organizers didn’t want people to dig it up ahead of time.

Michelle is not sure what is inside, but she thinks there was a copy of the Pacific Transcript newspaper, some items from the school district and some from the civic organizations.

The burial of this particular time capsule was a commemoration of — in this reporter’s opinion — the biggest celebration ever experienced in Pacific, to honor the sesquicentennial of Franklin County and Pacific.

I have to tell you . . . as a history buff who pores over old papers for a hobby, this visit with the time capsule has been quite an adventure.

I revisited the 1968 sesquicentennial booklet that was published to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of both the county and Pacific.

The big find was Pacific’s nine-day celebration, held Aug. 9-17, and the production of the outdoor musical spectacular, “Show-Me Franklin.”

As hometown pageants go, the big movies with their “casts of thousands,” could not have topped it. For five nights, a cast of about 400 local players sang, danced and performed skits depicting big events and light moments of the city’s first 150 years.

For 90 minutes each night, the players went through their routines. They portrayed Indians, pioneers, President Lincoln, local churches, the movie theater, a horse thief, can-can dancers, three wars, arrival of the automobile, bathing beauties, the atom bomb and Jesse James.

I couldn’t determine exactly where the spectacular was staged. The program said it was presented on a 200-foot panoramic multi-level stage setting. The show always closed with a fireworks exhibit.

As trips down memory lane go, nothing on the big screen could have topped it.

Pauline Masson can be reached at or 314-805-9800.