Facts About SWFL

Time Capsules Tucked Away In Controversial Robert E. Lee Bust

The Robert E. Lee bust has been the center of a lot of controversy, but did you know two time capsules sit inside?

Joanne Miller has been working in the Lee County Court of Clerk Historical Document Library for almost four decades. And on top of that, she is somewhat of an expert on time capsules in Downtown Fort Myers.

“Time capsules are so important because they are a gift to our future,” Miller said. “Every single one of them has been put in place for the future. We are preserving history the best that we can.”

Two of the time capsules scattered around downtown are hiding inside the Robert E. Lee bust.

“Nobody has mentioned the time capsule. It’s all about Robert E. Lee himself,” she said. “It was the United Daughters of the Confederacy that put this time capsule in.”

The bust was put up in 1966 and restored in 2015. Time capsule items were added both times.

Now, the city says the Daughters of the Confederacy are the only ones that can move the bust.

Conflict over Gen. Lee Bust Continue at City Council Meeting

“I really feel that it’s important that we leave the time capsule there,” Miller said.

The bust is technically protected under County Ordinance 15-01, which protects military monuments in Lee County.

The city does not have the rights to take the bust down.