Some 95 history lovers took seats near friends and old school chums Thursday night, Nov. 29, for a double-bill history program at the Tri-County Senior Center.
The crowd turned out to help Mayor Steve Myers and the Pacific history and genealogy group open a time capsule buried in 1968, as well as celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The event was originally scheduled for Nov. 15 and rescheduled following a heavy snowstorm.
Following instructions left by then Mayor Arthur Viehland, who buried the capsule during the 1968 Franklin County Sesquicentennial, Mayor Myers used a hammer and screwdriver to pry open the lid of the concrete infant burial vault that served as the time capsule.
As instructed by Viehland, Myers had assigned two people born in 1968, his wife Lori Myers and his pastor Joe Sullivan, to lift the contents from the capsule.
The spirit of the event was not dampened by the fact that water had seeped into the time capsule and the contents were soggy.
Donning plastic kitchen gloves, Myers and Sullivan carefully lifted the soggy papers and spread them onto two tables.
Among the items the Sesquicentennial celebrants buried in the capsule were the official Sesquicentennial banner, four Sesquicentennial buttons and a copy of the Sesquicentennial book.
Also included were several editions of the Pacific Transcript, advertising from city businesses, and a rain check in case inclement weather caused a ticket holder to miss the “Show Me Franklin” pageant that was staged for six nights.
Once all items were lifted from the capsule and catalogued by Donna Graham, history society secretary, Myers invited patrons to examine the items.
“Please don’t touch the papers,” he said. “We will try to dry them and preserve them in the history museum.”
History buffs are now discussing the need to bury a time capsule next year to mark the Franklin County Bicentennial.
“The big question is what to put in the capsule if we do bury one,” Myers said. “What would people who would open a time capsule 50 years from now want to know about us?”