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Column: A quest to find a time capsule

Part of my job is to ask questions. To do a little digging. To find some answers.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a photo in a February, 1961 edition of the Dakota County Tribune. To be frank, it's got me a little stumped. So I figured I'd check with the community and see if anyone out there is able to help.

It's a community curiosity. A historical mystery. If it were a Nancy Drew book, I imagine the title would be "The Mystery of the Missing Time Capsule."

The headline reads, "Time Capsule for 2011." Part of the copy underneath the photo (in the newspaper biz, we call those "cutlines") reads as follows:

"The Youth (of) Fellowship of Faith church in Farmington are pictured ... depositing the "time capsule" in the church safe, which will remain there until 8 p.m., February 5, 2011 A.D."

I've been around this town for almost 18 years, and I don't recall a Fellowship of Faith church. We haven't heard about a local church opening a time capsule. And that kind of tips me off that the time capsule isn't there anymore.

According to the cutline, "The capsule contains items reflecting teenage times of 1961 about the youth of our present, the church, the school, leisure time and how it is spent, a sports page, a magazine, phonograph record, and other things that interest the teenagers of today."

The picture has about a dozen students in it, all looking at this container that reads "Open February 5, 2011 A.D." Unfortunately, there is no identification of any of the students, but they're all pretty focused on that time capsule.

After compiling the Looking Back pages for more than a decade, I've begun to appreciate Farmington's history. And frankly, I've always thought time capsules are pretty cool.

I've done a little bit of checking. With "faith" in the name, my first call was to Faith United Methodist. I was referred to a woman named Phyllis, who, I was told, is a bit of a church historian.

I called Phyllis, but the name didn't ring a bell with her, either. So I took the article to Rambling River Center, hoping maybe someone who has lived here longer than I would recognize the name. No luck, but they urged me to call this gal named Phyllis.

I thought maybe I'd get some idea by calling the Dakota County Historical Society, but they're not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. It's also Monday as I write this and the paper will be well on its way to the printer by the time the historical society opens.

I even Googled "Fellowship of Faith Farmington 1961" and lots of other variations. I didn't get anything that seemed remotely local.

One woman at Rambling River Center thought perhaps the church was once located at the chapel across the street from Econofoods. That might be. Another wondered if it was one of the downtown churches that was torn down years ago.

These are things I just don't know. When I found the photo, it was Friday, Feb. 4. And I was amused to see that the time capsule was supposed to be opened the next evening.

It's made me curious about whether the congregation has joined another. Maybe that time capsule is still out there somewhere. And if it is, it would be kind of fun to see what's inside.

So here's where I turn to our long-time residents. If anyone has any idea of what ever happened to Fellowship of Faith church in Farmington, please contact me at the paper. Consider it a clue to helping me solve a little community mystery.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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