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At VA’s Togus National Cemetery in Maine, funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided the money needed to finally restore the cemetery’s historic 1889 Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

While dismantling the 31-foot, granite obelisk, masons discovered a time capsule hidden in the upper base. Inside, they found a sealed copper box, a green glass bottle with a rolled paper inside, the bowl of a smoking pipe and a Boston newspaper dated Sunday, Sept. 15, 1889. With the exception of the newspaper, all of the artifacts were in good condition. After an x-ray revealed the copper box was full of papers, it was carefully opened, revealing newspapers, annual reports of the Togus National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and a set of water-damaged photographs. Written on the paper liner of the box were the names of seven residents of the home who had worked in the engineering department. It was later discovered that during the Civil War, these men had served in volunteer regiments from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York. On September 15, 2010, Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro inserted a new time capsule into a niche underneath the capstone of the monument where it waits to be discovered in another hundred years.

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