A project to repair a cracked sidewalk at Hazeldale Park recently unearthed a treasure buried in the asphalt for 35 years.
On October 11, contractor Tim Lacey, of Lacey Construction, was pulling up 32 feet of asphalt pathway along SW Rosa Rd. so that the new sidewalk could be regraded to meet current ADA requirements.
“He called me like he had discovered gold … and he had,” said Jerry Burgess, THPRD’s park.maintenance project manager.
Encased between the compacted gravel and the asphalt, Lacey saw a shiny glint of metal.
“I was digging up the asphalt, picking along getting roots up, and I saw a little shiny piece with some dirt around it,” Lacey said. “I cleaned it off and it was a gold ring.”
Lacey found a man's wedding band, which had undoubtedly been trapped under the sidewalk since 1982, when the park – then known as Rosa Park – was first developed by THPRD.
Inscribed on the inside of the ring is a short message that includes initials and a wedding date.
Based on that date – more than 50 years ago – Burgess estimates the ring’s owner is about 75-80 years old. He’s hoping THPRD can unite the ring with its owner or a family member.
Burgess himself was involved in Rosa Park's development, but his files don't contain any information about contractors that may have worked on the project.
“It went for bid in 1981,” Burgess said. “I looked in our files but didn’t see anything.”
Otten & Associates (now Otten Landscape Architects) did the development. He’s hoping that perhaps their files generate a lead that can help THPRD discover the ring’s rightful owner. The date and inscription would make it easy to verify any claim.
“It would be a nice item for the family to have back,” Burgess said.
Have any information that could lead us to the owner of this ring? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.