Two time capsules, both dating back 100 years or more, have been uncovered during the restoration of a heritage building in Moncton.

Both boxes contain artifacts in near perfect condition, and were found by work crews restoring the exterior of the Aberdeen Cultural Centre.

“I took the brick on top of the corner stone off and the time capsules were about an inch higher than the corner stone, so when I hit it with my jackhammer I kinda made a little dent in it,” says construction worker Louis Drisdelle. 

Pulled from the copper boxes were newspapers, money, postcards and letters.

One of the most interesting items is a list of school teachers from 1915, a document that has never been seen before.

The centre was Moncton's first secondary school. Its most famous alumnus is author and literary critic, Northrup Frye.

One of the time capsules from 1897 survived a fire in 1915 that reduced the building to rubble. The school was rebuilt a year later.

The original 1897 time capsule was reburied along with a new one.

“Usually you don't find two, and the first one we pulled out had a date stamp on it that said 1897,” says Heritage and Cultural Coordinator Laren Campbell. “So we knew we were on the earlier school, and that increased the probability that the second one was actually from the 1916 school... and it was.”

Campbell says it's not so much about what is inside the capsules, but rather who put it there.

“For me, it's everything you pull out, whether you've seen it before or not. Somebody put it there 100 years ago or more. That's kind of the interesting part to me,” says Campbell.

The discovery of the time capsules comes as the cultural centre is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Officials say they plan to bury a time capsule of their own.

The artifacts will remain frozen for another 72 hours, then the delicate process of opening the envelopes containing currency and stamps will begin.

Campell says depending on the note, some of the money could be valuable.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.