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Time capsule opened at St. Peter Treatment Center

Hidden for more than 50 years, box was uncovered during remodeling

Maintenance Supervisor Pat Kennedy (left) and retiree Martin Larson work to unseal the time capsule found at the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center.

Employees, clients and retirees gathered at the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center recently to open a time capsule uncovered during a remodeling project.

“There was a plaque on the wall so we knew it was in there somewhere,” said Jamie Fromm, a supervisor with the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, which operates in the building where the time capsule was found. “But they wouldn’t let me take down a wall just to find it. Ever since the remodeling started, I’ve been excited to get it out and see what’s inside.”

Maintenance Supervisor Pat Kennedy and retiree Martin Larson pried open the time capsule lid on April 4. Larson, who retired from the St. Peter facility in 1981, pulled out a stack of papers and a set of keys. Included were several pictures, a copy of the patient newspaper from 1961, a civil service salary plan (1959-1961), a hospital Christmas card and a budget presentation to the 1961 legislature, along with numerous other mementoes.

Attendees at the opening crowded around the time capsule to get a closer look and share memories. Many recognized the names of those mentioned in the uncovered materials. Some also talked about what might go into the next time capsule.

“It’s fun to think that in 50 years another group of people could be right here opening up a time capsule we’ve buried,” Fromm said. “I hope we can do as well as the people who put this one together.”

State programs for persons with disabilities have operated at the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center since 1866. Today, the Minnesota Department of Human Services runs programs for the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and State Operated Services on the campus.

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