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Glen Cove mystery about a 1968 time capsule's location may be solved

A search was underway at the Glen Cove

A search was underway at the Glen Cove Police Station -- formerly the City Hall -- where a time capsule from 1968 may be buried. Credit: Dave Nieri

It’s not an X but a chalked rectangle that marked the spot where a search team believes a missing time capsule was buried 50 years ago in Glen Cove.

A small committee of residents has been searching since last year for the time capsule, which was buried in May 1968 to commemorate the city’s tricentennial. In February, city employees used metal detectors to search near the Glen Cove Police Department and at a traffic island downtown, but didn’t unearth anything but old bricks.

“I was getting desperate,” said Dave Nieri, a Glen Cove resident who’s led the search.

The trail had gone cold when Brien Costello, the owner of X-Ray Locating Service in Lindenhurst, contacted  the city with an offer to assist. Costello’s company uses metal detectors and ground-penetrating radar to find underground power lines or cesspools.

Nieri met last Monday with Costello and his brother Tim Costello outside the police department, which used to be the Glen Cove City Hall. The brothers focused their search behind the police department, where a couple people told Nieri they remember it being buried. One brother swept the area with a metal detector, while the other operated the radar.

Tim Costello first got a ping on his metal detector, and Brien got a match with the radar. The equipment found something buried two feet under the surface and matching the approximate dimensions of the time capsule. Nieri learned the city used a child’s concrete casket, measuring about 58 inches by 20 inches by 20 inches, to enshrine its mementos of 1968.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” Brien Costello said. “It was a feel-good job.”

They used chalk to mark the spot on the brick pavement. Mayor Timothy Tenke said city officials aren't planning to excavate because the time capsule isn’t scheduled to be opened until 2068. But he said in a statement that he’s glad they can help the “residents of Glen Cove 50 years from now.”

Nieri said he’s hoping to inscribe a brick in the pavement, so the capsule isn’t lost again. He’s also made copies of a map showing the possible location and has left them at the North Shore Historical Society, the Glen Cove Library and in the City Clerk’s office.

“I’m happy to at least pass this information along, so if there’s someone who’s curious 50 years from now, they’ll know where to look,” Nieri said.

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