A time capsule buried 25 years ago at Kimco’s Pine Creek shopping center has just seen sunlight. Retailers at the Grass Valley, Calif., shopping center who helped bury the time capsule held an event on Sat., June 22 to unveil it to the Nevada County community.

The 3-foot wooden cube was buried in a concrete-lined hole near the amphitheater at the center. The hole was topped with a concrete slab adorned with a name plate dedicated to Pine Creek.

Below are some photos taken in 1988 when the time capsule was buried, and photos taken from the unveiling event this year. You can also see more photos of the time capsule in this news article in The Union.

Inside the time capsule was memorabilia submitted as part of a contest held in 1988 by the shopping center’s developer, Connolly Development. The contest asked locals to place the best pieces of Nevada County life into the time capsule as a way to create a community-wide memento.

One of the items that made it into the time capsule was a photo album created by members of Soroptimist International, a women’s service organization located in Pine Creek. The photo album was filled with pictures and other memorabilia from club members depicting their family and business lives at the time.

Soroptimist won the $1,000 first place group award for its submission, which became crucial start-up funding for the club. So the time capsule has always had a special place in the heart of Linda Fischer, who charted the club.

“All that we’ve built over the years came from that beginning seed money from the time capsule,” Linda told us.

When the 25-year anniversary rolled around, Linda wanted to unveil the time capsule in a big way. She organized the event to bring the community together once again to reflect on the meaning of Nevada County to its residents.

She got together with two other Pine Creek tenants -- Mairin Miller, the store manager of JC Penney, and Betsy Pever, the store manager of Raley’s Supermarket -- to throw an 80s themed unveiling party. Five thousand flyers circulated the county to draw the residents to the event. Raley’s served hotdogs off the grill with drinks and celebratory time capsule cake. JC Penney raffled off gift cards from Pine Creek tenants. Party-goers rocked their classic 80s digs and Pine Creek retailers played 80s music in their stores.

Then came the big moment. Linda and other Soroptimist members removed the time capsule’s lid and revealed the contents to a crowd of 50 Nevada County residents. Unfortunately, water had seeped into the time capsule, and many of the items had been damaged. But attendees were still happy to see bits of their lives from 1988.

“I was really excited about it and I wanted to give the book back to my club so they could see what it was like,” Linda told us. “I thought it was a nice community event.”

Out came Soroptimist’s photo album, as well as a Harley Davidson motorcycle emblem, firecrackers, a Grateful Dead 8-track, and many other items.

Another unique contribution was from Tait Lane, who was a young boy in 1988 and had won first place for the individual award. He had created a trivia game that showcased the best of Nevada County life. Tait is now a stock broker in Seattle. And although he was unable to come to the event, he hopes to visit Pine Creek soon to collect his trivia game. In fact, Linda is inviting all contest winners to gather their memorabilia from the time capsule.

But the event went beyond bringing the community together. It also helped bring Pine Creek retailers together, help them get to know one another, and create goodwill for the center.

“I think I made two new friends,” said Linda, when she told us about Mairin and Betsy.

Linda also learned a lot about holding a shopping center event. She had only two weeks to put the time capsule unveiling together, which she said really required about six months to fully plan, promote, and execute. The budget was also very small. But Linda, Mairin, and Betsy had the resolve and determination to overcome these challenges and hold a meaningful event for the community.

“We said, ‘let’s just do it.’ So we did,” said Linda. “It was nostalgia.”

This has been an installment of StoreFront, an interview series with leaders of successful retail businesses. For more interviews, visit the StoreFront page. To learn how you can be featured, email us. We’d love to hear from you.