Much ado about blueprints?Time capsule disappoints; sheriff vows it won’t happen in the future |

Much ado about blueprints?Time capsule disappoints; sheriff vows it won’t happen in the future

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong and business manager Kathy Heath look through blueprints of the Sheriff's Department, unearthed Monday from a time capsule buried in 1966. AT TOP: Furlong holds pennies found in the time capsule.

It was the Carson City’s equivalent of Geraldo Rivera’s opening of Al Capone’s empty tomb.

In chilly air and blinding sunlight, a crowd watched on Monday morning as a copper time capsule encased in the cornerstone of the Sheriff’s Department building for 41 years was cut open.

The anticipation was thick. For weeks people had pondered what the contents of that capsule would be. The building was coming down now that the sheriff had new headquarters next door. That capsule would be salvaged, its contents put on display and then interred in the cornerstone of the new building with items from 2007.

Some wondered if there would be a Nevada Day pin inside, or a newspaper or photographs or badges.

After some words from Sheriff Kenny Furlong and Mayor Marv Teixeira, former Mayor Jim Robertson and former chairman of the Ormsby County Commission Bill Goni shared their thoughts with the crowd of about 50. The two men had worked together in 1966 to consolidate Carson City and Ormsby County.

“I was just thinking how is it that (I) was here to dedicate a building and (I’m) here to tear it down,” Robertson said with a chuckle.

“I was here when the capsule was put in and I feel lucky to be here to take it out,” said Goni, 92. The crowd cheered.

Deputy Dean Williams and Sgt. Brian Humphrey were called to remove the marble cover holding the box in place. They gently lifted out the case.

Once the end of the box was cut off, civilian employee of the year Michael Shewbert squatted down and pulled out its contents.

A blue folder came out atop sheets of rolled paper.

Sheriff Furlong began to read the first page inside the folder and the crowd hushed. Soon everyone realized that what he was reading wasn’t a letter to the future, but communications between the building’s architect and sheriff’s administration.

And what was the rolled paper? The building’s blueprints. That was it. Blueprints and nothing more.

“Is there a Nevada Day pin in there,” Supervisor Pete Livermore asked a dejected Sheriff Furlong.

“No, there’s no pin,” Furlong said. The crowd grumbled.

“Now you see why I couldn’t remember,” said Robertson, laughing. When asked last week what was inside, he said he couldn’t recall. Nor could he remember the ceremony of its interment, despite his image in a newspaper clipping saved by retired Sheriff’s Capt. Don Cave.

Monday’s revelation was so depressing that the crowd quickly left those blueprints and that folder and toured the new building.

Jail trusties were cleaning up the area when a peek inside the copper box revealed what the other’s had missed. Coins!

Reserve Deputy Commander Tom Crawford brought the box inside. Detective Bob Motamenpour tilted the case onto a desk top.

Plink. Plink. Plink. Plink. Plink. Plink. Six pennies tumbled out, some rolling onto the floor.

They were scooped up and their dates read aloud.

1937. 1957. 1960. 1963. 1964. 1965.

“I have no idea what any of that means,” said a bewildered Cave later. “That really throws me.”

The blueprints, folder, a list of the department’s four deputies and 16 police officers at the time, and the six pennies are on display in the new building. Furlong said they will be on display for 30 days, then returned to their copper case and added to items from today for a new time capsule.

Furlong said he isn’t sure what he’ll put inside. He’ll likely open it up to suggestions from the community.

But there is one thing he knows for certain.

“By God, when they open ours it’s gonna be fun,” he said.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.