A work crew in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, unearthed a time capsule that was buried by a school for the deaf on the property in 1939.
Department of Corrections work crews found the black box on March 25 while working to renovate the building to be turned into a facility for the department.
The search for the time capsule started two years ago, but no one knew where it was. It had been buried by a local school for the deaf that once used the property.
In 2002, another group tried unsuccessfully to find the time capsule in time for the 150th anniversary of the school. During the recent renovations, a worker's drill bit struck the metal box the time capsule was housed in.
Corrections employee Nathan Harvey crawled under the layers of flooring that covered the box and pulled it out with the help of an inmate.
The corrections department then contacted the school, which had since moved to another location, and a ceremony was held on April 4 to open the box. In attendance at the ceremony were journalists and reporters, Department of Corrections employees and students of the school.
"I don’t have words for it ... it was an honor to be the person to remove the contents of that box that were placed in there 77 years ago," the school's director, Donna Alleman, told ABC News.
Inside the box was a collection of dolls, coins, copies of the school magazine, wood samples of trees from across the state and a blank diploma. The box also contained a 1939 copy of the Times Picayune newspaper as well as several tourism pamphlets.
"We’re going to put a box back," Department of Corrections spokesman Jimmy LeBlanc told WAFB. "When we do, we’re gonna add something, we’re not sure exactly, we’re going to try to model what they had in the box."
The box is currently in the care of school employees, who are removing the remaining contents and examining the historical items.