Several key items on the old Jacksonville Developmental Center grounds will be retrieved and taken to the Jacksonville Area Museum on Friday, March 24 starting at noon.
The items include the time capsule buried during 1997 on the Developmental Center grounds just southwest of the Gillette Building, and the metal letters from the facility’s sign at the corner of S. Diamond Street and W. Morton Avenue. The public is invited to watch the retrieval process.
The time capsule will not be opened, but will instead be re-buried at a future date on the Jacksonville Area Museum grounds and unearthed and opened as intended in 2047.
“The Jacksonville Developmental Center is a major part of our community’s history, and with talk of the potential demolition of the complex underway, we decided that now is the best time to preserve these items for future generations,” said Jacksonville Area Museum Board Chair Allan Worrell. “We are in the process of developing a new exhibit on the long-lived state institution and will be involving area school children in the re-interment of the time capsule, which was buried in 1997 to commemorate the Developmental Center’s 150th anniversary.”
Worrell thanked the City of Jacksonville, which will provide a crew to unearth the time capsule, and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, from whom the museum secured permission to remove the items from the state-owned grounds.
The Jacksonville Area Museum is located in the old Post Office building at 301 E. State Street. There is no admission fee but a donation of $5 is suggested to keep the museum operating.
The photo with this post is the Jacksonville State Hospital Annex. This building was located on the west side of the current Community Park, approximately in the location of the Sophie Leschin Building.