Greg McCoy approached the podium with what looked like a pair of steel salt and pepper shakers.

For nearly half a century the tiny canisters sat in wait within the Town Square veterans monument, placed there by the American Legion in 1976. When today’s Legion members began demolishing it to make way for an updated monument, McCoy, the commander for Post 43, fished out the time capsules. He knew they would be there but had no inkling of what to look for.

“I was expecting something bigger,” he said.

At Monday’s Town Council meeting he opened them and began pulling out bits of Jackson Hole history: a 13-cent postage stamp, a golf tee, a Navy Seabee patch, a Happy New Year pin, a firecracker, an American flag lapel pin and a coin of every kind minted in 1976, the bicentennial.

Besides those trinkets, the capsules also held that year’s Wyoming Cowboys football schedule, a financial statement for Jackson State Bank and a newspaper clipping that included on one side a photo of President Gerald Ford delivering an address at Old Faithful — surrounded by prominent conservationists and government officials — and on the other side a grocery ad.

“Bologna was 75 cents, I can tell you that,” McCoy said. “You could get a corn dog for 15 cents.”

And, lastly, the capsules came with a list of the names of those responsible for the first monument, dated Sept. 5, 1976. Appended to the end is a message, signed by Jackson native Felix Buchenroth, to future generations: “May peace be on this earth when whoever read [sic] this.”

Read more here.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911 or

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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