There is a new addition in the Stearman Building at Heritage Park aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville.
The building houses historic artifacts from NAS Jacksonville’s past. Now it also contains something for the future.
A time capsule containing about 75 items donated from the tenant commands was placed there April 5. It will be opened in 50 years, in the year 2068.
Ron Williamson, safety manager for NAS Jacksonville and unofficial base historian, was the driving force behind the project.
“It came about because I thought we needed something unique to celebrate the 75th anniversary of NAS Jacksonville in 2015 and get folks excited about it,” he said.
“We couldn’t have an air show that year because of the runway project, so we decided we decided to do a time capsule.”
The Stearman Building was chosen because Williamson wanted the time capsule to be in a visible place.
“We have been looking for a great building to put this in, so people won’t forget about it 50 years from now,” he said. “We didn’t want to bury it, because we wanted people to see it.”
The time capsule was placed in front of the 1941 Stearman bi-plane for which the building is named.
The donated items were placed in three ammunition boxes, which were then encased in a concrete structure built by Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202. The Seabees used 15 80-pound bags of cement to build the structure.
“It gives us a lot of pride to build this,” said Seabee BU1 Justin Dashnaw. “All of the Seabees have a lot of pride in the work that we do.”
As the concrete was setting, the Seabees placed in their command coin in the lower left corner on the top of the structure to let future generations know who built it.
The concrete installment was made with rebar reinforcement.
“We wish them luck trying to bang into this 50 years from now,” Williamson said. “They are going to need a big hammer.”
The time capsule is not yet finished as a plaque will be installed on a future date.