Historic preservation experts found an 1875 almanac, two other withered books, a cloth envelope, and a coin. All of which were wet and are now being handled cautiously.
They worked carefully to remove the items from the capsule to make sure they stayed preserved.
The process to open the box started at around 10 a.m. and took several hours to complete. Experts pried away at the lead capsule with various tools and machinery.
Northam arrived at the facility around 12:30 p.m., but later left as the process was taking longer than expected. He then returned around 3 p.m. when the box was finally ready to be opened.
History of the time capsule
Workers found the time capsule on December 17 while dismantling the 40-foot pedestal on Monument Avenue in Richmond, according to a news release from Northam’s office.
The time capsule was found in the tower of the pedestal about 20 feet above ground level.
Workers also dug a large 5-foot-deep hole near the cornerstone of the pedestal in hopes of finding the time capsule.
The state plans to store the pedestal until officials decide what to do with the partial monument.
CNN’s Amir Vera and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this story.
An 1875 almanac, books and a coin were revealed in time capsule discovered in the pedestal of Robert E. Lee statue