What was Mattapoisett like in 1971?

That year in America, the Baltimore Colts won Super Bowl V, "All in the Family" was television's top show, and Time Magazine named Richard Nixon its Man of the Year. Many folks that now have roots in Mattapoisett, or other parts of the SouthCoast, for that matter, didn't necessarily get to experience the early 70s in the area, either because they lived in a different part of the world at that time or because they simply weren't alive yet.

A lot can happen in 50 years, and thanks to a decades-old project, modern-day SouthCoast residents will soon have the opportunity to take a look at 1971-era Mattapoisett from a cool new view.

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50 years ago, Mattapoisett residents banded together in a volunteer effort to raise money for The Bandstand gazebo at Shipyard Park. Many businesses across town raised funds, with the Mattapoisett Lions Club spearheading much of the project, selling ceramic plaques and captain chairs embellished with a photo of the town's Bandstand to help the cause. The Bandstand was dedicated in 1971, but not without a very special surprise.

The Lions Club's King Lion Ross Kessler and Bruce Rocha, Sr., recounted the 1971 event, noting that the club's former president, Dr. Donald Nahigyan, donated a small time capsule that has been embedded into the foundation of The Bandstand since its dedication, with the intent to open it up 50 years later.

Selectman John DeCosta had the same goal, hoping to lead the event to open the time capsule in 2021. Unfortunately, Selectman DeCosta passed away just months short of the event, so Kessler and Rocha, Sr. said the Lions Club "picked up the torch and plan to [fulfill] the goal."

And fulfill they will. The Lions Club has officially invited the community to come out to the event on July 17 at 7:30 p.m., as they dig up the time capsule and reveal its contents from 1971. Those wishing to witness the opening of the capsule should meet at the Shipyard Park gazebo.

So what might be inside the time capsule? Right now, it's anyone's guess, and members of the Lions Club are keeping their lips sealed when it comes to any knowledge on who may have contributed to the capsule all those years ago... until the big reveal, at least!

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