Cemetery cylinder isn't time capsule after all

The search for the Haymarket keepsake continues

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By John Rice

Columnist / Staff reporter

As it turns out, the cylinder recovered at Forest Home Cemetery, Oct. 3, was not the Haymarket time capsule. Bleue Benton, the Oak Park Public Library research librarian, who was part of the search team, provided a brief update on the project. 

After the cylinder was removed, she said, it was X-rayed. The films show what appears to be a metal urn, not the capsule they have been seeking for over two years.

Benton indicated that more research needs to take place before they can find the location of the real capsule. She plans to review 450 pages of minutes from the Pioneer Aid and Support Association, the organization that originally placed the capsule. Unfortunately, these minutes are written in Old German, a language Benton does not understand. She recruited a German language scholar but he was also unable to read it. Benton referred to the task as her "retirement project" and estimated it will take at least six months to translate the minutes.

As for the time capsule: "Now we know where it's not. We won't do any additional digging, until we have the exact location." She doesn't know whether WTTW will air the footage they have so far or revisit the project when the capsule is finally located. In the meantime, the Forest Park Historical Society is hosting a presentation titled "Mysteries of the Haymarket Time Capsule" on Oct. 27, from 7 to 10 p.m., at 1000 Elgin Avenue.

Benton will participate in the presentation, along with labor historian Mark Rogovin. Though the location of the time capsule remains a mystery, Benton said, "We love talking about it."

Reader Comments

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Lennie Kravitz  

Posted: May 18th, 2017 9:17 AM

Is it possible that the urn contains 1/2 of William D. Haywood's ashes that were sent from Moscow when the other half was buried in the Kremlin Wall? From Wikipedia: On May 18, 1928, Haywood died in a Moscow hospital from a stroke brought on by alcoholism and diabetes." Half of his ashes were buried in the Kremlin wall; an urn containing the other half of his ashes was sent to Chicago and buried near the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument. Hope this helps.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: May 3rd, 2017 5:24 PM

Nice to know when our society slides into immorality, we have David Webb to tsk-tsk and set us back on the straight and narrow.

Andrawn Millet from Forest Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2017 3:14 PM

A Note (for R.Vitton): Louis Lingg was likely cremated, *but he didn't blow his head off/body up, just his jaw & his face. The explosion didn't kill this amateur bomb-maker, ~6hrs of bleeding out on the floor of his prison cell did.*

Rich Vitton  

Posted: October 21st, 2016 7:02 PM

I agree with Mr. Webb: Wow how typical, Once again, people of this village and Oak Park jump in head first without reviewing everything Let us not do real research but let us speculate that a time capsule is buried here and then whoops only to find the cremation remains of a human and very possibly that of one Mr. Louis Lingg one of the martyrs and the only one not to be hung. If you did your research you would find Mr. Lingg put a blasting cap in his mouth while in the old county court house and blew his head off and possibly most of his body so what to do but cremation. In addition, this quote from Jean Lotus "I attended the "dig" all three days. The archaeologists followed all protocol" What archaeologists? What Protocol? What research do you mean ? Bleue Benton, the Oak Park Public Library research librarian, if this person did any research you would find "Hint" All the records of burial from the 1800s of Waldheim and Forest Home are sitting on micro film at the Newberry Library in Chicago The only thing they got right was the original transcripts being written in old German This is known today as High German and no longer spoken it would be like trying to figure out the Ancient Maya Codex It's what I found out when I discovered the first village news paper The Harlem Post from the 1800 buried along side the heating system of the Forest Park Library and getting ready to be dumped in the garbage by the staff of the library. In closing being a member of a Labor Union I am disappointed in your actions so before you do anymore digging do you research and when you are done do more research.

David Webb  

Posted: October 21st, 2016 8:33 AM

Something else to consider and perhaps it was, The Haymarket funeral monument is a designated National Historic landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States by the Department of the Interior. That status would , i assume, make it a federally protected site. Regarding protocol, was anyone at the Department of the Interior notified or was approval sought prior to the three day digging expedition? If not, something to consider during the next "dig"

David Webb  

Posted: October 21st, 2016 7:41 AM

Just asking , why wasn't this throughly researched and all documents including the hundreds of pages of "old German" text vetted prior to the ghoulish digging? Here is a neat video of the urn with ashes being exhumed: http://chronicleillinois.com/news/cook-county-news/archaeologists-may-unearthed-haymarket-time-capsule/

Jerry Webster  

Posted: October 20th, 2016 10:30 AM

It seems as if better research was needed on this project, are they really sure a capsule was buried? As for showing respect for the cemetery's in Forest Park I don't recall anything being said when the village was going to put base ball and soccer fields at this location. It is the kind of remark I have come to expect from certain people.

David Webb  

Posted: October 20th, 2016 6:50 AM

Here we go again a wanton disregard for the sanctity of a local burial ground, I just don't get it...Same thing with that Di Febo, project building a concert venue virtually on top of that Altenheim pauper cemetery & in close proximity to the Concordia resting place for so many..Show some respect, these locations aren't playgrounds.

Jean Lotus from Oak Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2016 4:47 PM

I attended the "dig" all three days. The archaeologists followed all protocol, first digging where ground-penetrating radar showed a disturbance. That false reading turned out to be a watering pipe, buried about 100 cm down. The scientists then opened a second adjacent "unit" where a previous GPR had showed a disturbance. Cemetery records showed only one burial site in the plot (cremation vault for Oscar Neebe). Because the vault was stacked on top of the cylinder, which was not in cemetery records, the group decided to remove the cylinder. The known cremation vault was carefully shifted by cemetery workers. All ethical protocol was followed, supervised by cemetery employees. Both vaults were re-covered. The time capsule is likely still on the site; all records indicate it has not been recovered. The scientific method is about discovery, and sometimes interpretation of data does not turn out to give predicted results. The mystery continues!

Nicole Grinbarg from Forest Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2016 1:45 PM

Yes Jason, this is an embarrassment as well as an ethical issue. It is evident that there was a clear lack of information shared with those brought in to excavate.

Evangeline Valhalla from Forest Park  

Posted: October 18th, 2016 7:21 PM

Jason Hawk don't be a jerk

Jason Hawk  

Posted: October 18th, 2016 3:53 PM

Now. After becoming international news, this is a tad embarrassing, isn't it?...

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