CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Crews began preparing for the removal of the last piece of the John C. Calhoun monument in Marion Square. City officials are anticipating a historic discovery once they begin demolishing the statue’s base.
Jason Kronsberg, Director of Parks for the City of Charelstons says historic documents are leading them to believe that a ‘time capsule’ is inside the massive structure
“We have a general idea of where it is and we hope it’s still there. The document says it’s in the northwest corner of the base of the monument,” says Kronsberg.
This information is coming from a newspaper article from the Charleston News and Courier in the year 1934. Kronsberg says the article outlines a number of historic artifacts that are inside.
“A cannonball recovered from the harbor that was supposed to be used in the Battle of Fort Moultrie, a case containing a banner which was carried by seamen in Calhoun’s funeral procession, $100 in Confederate (Continental) money, a lock of Calhoun’s hair, Calhoun’s last speech and various lists of national and state officers and organizing members,” he says.
This entire project has been in the works since June, after Charleston City Council unanimously voted in favor of removing the statue from Marion Square. Last month crews removed the pedestal that held the statue.
The last piece will be demolishing the base, which is costing a total of $151,000. City officials say a conservation expert will be on-site just in case they find the historic artifacts.
“So that if and when we find it, it’s handled with historical accuracy and care and we make sure it’s protected,” says Kronsberg.
Construction is expected to begin later this week and estimated to take about 2-3 weeks.