Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Capsule contents offer a peek into Gothenburg’s past

Unearthed VHS tape brings memories to life.

For awhile, Donna Schnackenberg’s deceased mother came to life.

Family gathered last Saturday night to watch a VHS tape filmed, placed in a time capsule and buried during Gothenburg’s centennial celebration in 1985.

The capsule was unearthed during Gothenburg’s Harvest Festival last September and its contents opened to the public last Thursday in city council chambers.


Donna was there to collect a letter written from her mother—Leora Collins who died of cancer in 1998—to Donna’s first daughter and Leora’s granddaughter. She also picked up the VHS tape.


Donna said family viewers also watched husband Matt Schnackenberg’s parents—Bob and Mary Schnackenberg—talking and clips of other family members including Steve and Wendy Collins and pictures of Chuck and Janice Walker who were away during the filming.

“The tape brought back a lot of memories,” Donna said. “It was awesome to see my deceased mother happy and speaking and also to see Matt’s parents.”

Images of Simon Motor, where Matt worked, and the Farmland Service Coop and farm store were also included as well as the childhood homes of the Collins and Schnackenberg families.

“We plan to transfer the tape to DVD so we can enjoy it many more years,” Donna said.

In the letter, yellowed with age, Leora tells Alisha—who was a year old at the time—that she is her first grandchild and “very special to me.”

“You have brought a lot of joy into my life,” she wrote, adding that the two of them are together on Mondays when she baby sits Alisha.

“Alisha, always stay as sweet as you are now and have a very fun, happy and healthy life.”

She ends the letter telling her first granddaughter that

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