Violet Orelove points out things she sees in the 1994 Juneau Time Capsule at the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building in Juneau on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Twenty-five year ago a janitor closet was turned into the Juneau Time Capsule. The capsule is set to be opened in 75 more years. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Violet Orelove points out things she sees in the 1994 Juneau Time Capsule at the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building in Juneau on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Twenty-five year ago a janitor closet was turned into the Juneau Time Capsule. The capsule is set to be opened in 75 more years. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

‘It’s maybe not valuable stuff, but it’s our stuff’: Juneau’s time capsule turns 25

The room-sized display asked for whole community’s input

Not every item in Juneau’s 25-year-old time capsule is valuable, but the eclectic trove of decades-old ephemera is still treasured by Michael Orelove.

Orelove was chairman of the City and Borough of Juneau ad hoc committee that collected items for the 1994 capsule, which now occupies a room inside the lobby of the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building. He was present among a small crowd Friday for a celebration of the capsule’s 25th anniversary.

[Photos: Take a look at what’s in the capsule]

“Most people when they think of a time capsule, they think of a small box,” Orelove said in an interview. “We didn’t want that. We wanted the whole community to contribute.”

Ultimately, hundreds of items came to be housed in the time capsule. Identification documents, credit cards, a Wonderbra, a mannequin wearing a Nugget Alaskan Outfitter cap, political signs and of-the-era children’s toys sit in the room that’s observable through a viewing window.

Inside the 1994 Juneau Time Capsule at the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building in Juneau on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Twenty-five year ago a janitors closet was turned into the Juneau Time Capsule. The capsule is set to be opened in 75 more years. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Inside the 1994 Juneau Time Capsule at the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building in Juneau on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Twenty-five year ago a janitors closet was turned into the Juneau Time Capsule. The capsule is set to be opened in 75 more years. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Assembly member Mary Becker read a proclamation recognizing the week of Aug. 5-11 as Juneau Time Capsule Week on behalf of Mayor Beth Weldon.

Some of the items such as a “No Capital Move” button are still relevant while the meaning of a sign that declares “It’s morphin’ time!” makes a lot less sense more than two decades removed from the debut of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show.

Within the larger time capsule, there are 50 smaller time capsules contained in old Post Office boxes. Orelove said spaces were sold to families to help fund the time capsule project.

“We were one of the last ones to do it,” said Rich Poor, who was present at the 25th anniversary celebration with his wife, Peggy.

[Juneau delegation holds town hall meeting]

Peggy Poor remembered placing some unopened “Lion King” trading cards in their individual capsule — the animated hit came out in June of 1994 — alongside political buttons, earrings, coins and other objects.

“I recall putting in a big aerial photo of Juneau,” said Rich Poor, but he could not see the photo through the viewing window.

[Housing for homeless people in Juneau could soon be a lot different]

Orelove said the intent is for the capsules to be opened in 2094, 100 years after the capsule was sealed, and for owners of the individual capsules to pass down their keys.

“Whoever shows up with the key will get what’s in the box,” Orelove said.

The Poors said they still have their key.

Some contents of the larger capsule are especially intended for the people of 2094.

A 1994 CBJ employee put a bottle of scotch in the capsule reserved for his successor, and a logger donated a chainsaw with a note in hopes that the device will be used to cut down trees at the same part of Admiralty Island that it had been used in the past.

Michael Orelove points out items to his Grandniece, Violet, inside the 1994 Juneau Time Capsule at the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building in Juneau on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Twenty-five year ago a janitors closet was turned into the Juneau Time Capsule. The capsule is set to be opened in 75 more years. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Michael Orelove points out items to his Grandniece, Violet, inside the 1994 Juneau Time Capsule at the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building in Juneau on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Twenty-five year ago a janitors closet was turned into the Juneau Time Capsule. The capsule is set to be opened in 75 more years. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

“He wanted a logger from the future to go back and use it again,” Orelove said.

Reviewing the contents of the capsule 25 years later, Orelove said there isn’t much he would change or any critical omissions he would right in hindsight.

“I think we have a very good representation,” Orelove said. “It’s maybe not valuable stuff, but it’s our stuff.”

25 years ago …

The average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.11, according to 1990s Flashback.

The national average for the cost of a dozen eggs 87 cents, according to 1990s Flashback.

The national average for the cost of a gallon of milk was $2.88, according to 1990s Flashback.

This week in 1994 …

The No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Stay (I Missed You)” by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories, according to Billboard.

The No. 1 movie was “Clear and Present Danger,” according to Box Office Mojo.

The New York Times’ Fiction Best Seller list was topped by “The Gift” by Danielle Steel, according to the New York Times.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 7

Here’s what to expect this week.

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Murkowski opens up at Juneau HQ debut

Senator chats with supporters about U.S. vs. Belgium voting, moose chili and Project Veritas

U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Senate candidate sheds more light on background

Shoshana Gungurstein responds at length to recent report on past film career.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Drug arrest made in Skagway

Police say a suspicious package was intercepted.

This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday Aug. 12, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

From left, Kelsey Dean, watershed scientist with the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, and Kaagwaan Eesh Manuel Rose-Bell of Keex’ Kwáan watch as crew members set up tools to drag a log into place. Healthy salmon habitat requires woody debris, typically provided by falling branches and trees, which helps create deep salmon pools and varied stream structure. (Courtesy Photos / Mary Catharine Martin)
 
The SalmonState: Bringing the sockeye home

Klawock Indigenous Stewards and partners are working to a once prolific sockeye salmon run.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police ID man missing from cruise ship

Coast Guard suspends search efforts

Most Read