Ancient Egyptians were famous for burying their pharaohs, along with their prized possessions, in sealed rooms of the pyramids. They presumably included items that the Egyptians thought the pharaoh would need in the afterlife. However, unlike today's time capsules, the pharaoh's tombs were not meant to be opened anytime in the future.
In fact, the notion of leaving behind a collection of artifacts, relics, important objects and/or documents in sealed containers to be opened at a speciﬁc time in the future did not come about until the 19th century at a time when rulers and wealthy merchants would often place important documents, and other objects of interest in the cornerstones of buildings. The cornerstones would often bear a plaque identifying the location for future generations.
Likewise, when a time capsule is buried, it is just as important to take note, and keep a record of the location for future generations, perhaps even marking the location with a plaque. Many time capsules have been lost because the location was forgotten, there were signiﬁcant changes in geography, or even some inner-city/urban makeover.
It seems that a belief in the future often produces a fascination with history and one's place in it, and apparently almost everyone wants to be a part of history. Today, there are thousands of time capsules buried by school children and civic leaders every year in the United States, convinced and hopeful that future generations will be interested in what they contain. And, while most people speak of time capsules as relevant only to some future date, the members of the Cedaredge Centennial Time Capsule Committee - Cedaredge town administrator Kathleen Sickles, former mayor Bill Miller, trustee Pat Means, Amy Daniels, Richard Udd and committee chairman Ronn Brewer are all looking to the past, while contemplating the future.
According to Brewer, all items to be encapsulated were collected and prepared with the help of Means, Miller and Daniels. He noted the group did not simply gather up one-of-a-kind knickknacks or trinkets to be placed in the time capsule. "Instead, we collected those things that we felt would be representative of what people might want to know about this time in Cedaredge, and the 100 years prior."
Brewer, with the help of his grandson Haedyn and local contractor Ken Christenson, built the vault that will house the time capsule. Sickles and public works director Tim Roberts designed the plaque to be placed on the vault and local artisan Sherry Henrie will have the plaque etched in stone and ﬁnished in time for the dedication ceremony. Brewer said he truly appreciated "... all the people, individuals and contributors, who helped to get the job done." Brewer said he wasn't sure it was going to happen after the Cedaredge Town Council denied funding for the project.
Included in the more than 100 items collected for the time capsule are numerous "before and after" photographs of the Town of Cedaredge at the time of its incorporation in 1907, and of the 100 years following; the original Centennial Proclamation of then mayor Bill Miller, dated March 16, 2007; a centennial banner; an American flag ﬂown over the U.S. Capitol; an arrowhead; a copy of the original incorporation papers dated March 25, 1907; four books - "Surface Creek Country" by a native daughter (Hazel Baker Austin), "Irrigating the Surface Creek Valley" (John Spurgeon), "A History of the Surface Creek Valley and the Town of Cedaredge" (compiled by Ronn Brewer) and "Following the Sand Hill Cranes in Colorado" (Evelyn Horn); a Bible; multiple articles from local newspapers; e-mails, town council agendas/minutes; various committee reports; commemorative coins and stamps; two DVDs; various pamphlets; a list of businesses; and more.
"There's going to be a lot to read," laughed Brewer. "Young people need to read about history." Brewer said he would also encourage young people to learn about their own family history as well. Brewer added, "What I miss, more than anything else, are the orchards."
Brewer praised librarian LaDonna Gunn (Cedaredge Public Library), for her knowledge and expertise in the proper preservation of documents, and for putting it all together for shipment to Future Packaging in California.
Future Packaging built the time capsule, sealed it and sent it back to the town in time for the burial ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 23, at the SW Centennial Plaza wall, starting at 10 a.m.
Brewer noted that because their class pictures are enclosed in the capsule, a special invitation to attend the dedication was sent to the students who were in the ﬁrst, ﬁfth and eighth grade classes of 2007, and Cedaredge High School's graduating class of 2007.
Said Brewer, "It is our hope that in 50 years [the time scheduled for the ofﬁcial reopening of the time capsule] some of the kids from these classes will still be in the area and will remember being a part of the time capsule dedication."blog comments powered by Disqus