WWII-Era Time Capsule Found in US Home, and the Contractor Wants Internet Sleuths’ Help

By Matt Novak on at

Do you know WWII veteran Richard Silagy or his family? Silagy lived in the city of Cleveland in the US state of Ohio, sometime after World War II and hid a time capsule filled with personal items in his home. The time capsule was recently discovered by a housing contractor doing improvements on the house, but a search online for Silagy or any living relatives has been a failure. The contractor is now turning to the public for help.

“He was very meticulous. He save[d] receipts. He saved his hat in the original packaging,” Mike Wimberley, the housing contractor, told CBS affiliate Cleveland-19. “He cared about this otherwise he wouldn’t have saved it.”

The time capsule was discovered underneath stairs in the basement of the house, and includes photos, school yearbooks, his hat from World War II, and even a munitions shell dated 1944 that looks like it was fired.

Screenshot: Cleveland-19

The house is at Erwin Avenue in Cleveland, though the local news has not released the exact address. Wimberley says he’s tried to track down Silagy and any living relatives on platforms like Facebook but has come up empty-handed. All he wants to do is return the items to Silagy or anyone who may be related to him. The last living service members who served in World War II are now in their 90s, so it’s not clear if Silagy might still be alive.

One of the difficulties in tracking down Silagy or his relatives might be that the name Richard has quite a few possible nicknames, including Richie, Rich, and Dick, among others. But another difficulty is that no one seems to know when Silagy may have moved out of the house. If you have any information, Wimberley would love to hear from you so that he can get the time capsule into the hands of people who might appreciate it most.

Like so many time capsules, it’s not worth much monetarily, but the items clearly meant a lot to Silagy. And one would hope that it might mean something to his relatives.

You can send any solid leads to reporter Harry Boomer at Cleveland-19: hboomer@woio.com. Do your thing, internet. [Cleveland-19]