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PLEASANT AVENUE 4TH-GRADERS PREPARE TIME CAPSULE

Who knows what future generations will think when they open a time capsule in Hamburg that includes a Beanie Baby, Gameboy video game and a Buffalo Sabres hockey puck.

Fourth-graders at Union Pleasant Avenue School spent a lot of time last spring selecting items to be included in a new time capsule to be placed near the original Masonic Lodge in Hamburg.

Thirty of the pupils, now fifth graders, will be on hand Oct. 7 when the time capsule is placed near the cornerstone of the lodge, which is now part of Rosewood Village.

"Our fourth-graders were very pleased to put together this time capsule for Rosewood and the Masons," Union Pleasant Principal Cheryl Haake said. "The project gave our students the opportunity to determine what things define our current, popular culture and at the same time, we learned a little about the history of our community."

During construction of Rosewood Village, which was built incorporating the Roman style lodge that opened in 1926, a time capsule was discovered. The contents of the rough-hewn copper box were revealed in a ceremony last May at Rosewood Village, an assisted living community at 76 Buffalo St. featuring private apartments as well as support services.

Members of Fraternal Lodge 625, F & AM, which owned the property more than 90 years, deposited several items, including a Bible, in the time capsule placed in its addition 72 years ago. The lodge grew in members to more than 650 in the early 1970s but declined while the upkeep of the building became more expensive. The Masons sold the lodge to ElderWood Affiliates Inc. in 1996.

Also included in the capsule was a roster of the lodge members and the June 17, 1926, edition of the Erie County Independent, which heralded the setting of the cornerstone as a realization of "a dream cherished for decades."

The new capsule put together by pupils includes an updated map of the Village of Hamburg, an edition of the Sun and Erie County Independent, "TV Guide's" issue on the last "Seinfeld" episode, a lottery ticket, and letters from the school children. Pupils also included a list of the cost of various items, microwave popcorn, an article from the Internet on endangered species, a compact disk, and Mrs. Haake's business card.

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