Time capsule: Not to be opened until 2043

Messenger photos by Kristy Zurbrick
Plain City public works employees lower the lid onto the vault that contains the village’s bicentennial time capsule. They later slid a 1,400-pound capstone over the blocks surrounding the vault. The time capsule is slated to be opened in 25 years.

(Posted Nov. 15, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

It took five men to slide the 1,400-pound capstone over the vault containing Plain City’s bicentennial time capsule. And that’s where the capstone will stay until the capsule is opened in 2043.

Plain City Historical Society (PCHS) members and village officials closed and sealed the time capsule on the afternoon of Nov. 7. The ceremony is the last in a series of events celebrating Plain City’s 200th anniversary. The monument is located just inside the main entrance of Pastime Park, near the pioneer statue.

“This has been a labor of love for the Historical Society, especially Annabelle Beach Tuller,” said Karen Vance, PCHS vice president. “A year ago, Annie asked, ‘What about a time capsule?’ Everyone thought it was a great idea. No one volunteered, so she took the project and ran with it.”

Rather than set the capsule opening for 50 or 100 years from now, the Historical Society chose 25 years so that the school children who submitted drawings and writings for the capsule could be among those who help to open it.

“I’m hoping some of those kids will be active on council or active in the community or even mayor then,” said Tuller, PCHS treasurer.

Everything in Plain City’s bicentennial time capsule, from a computer to a pair of Crocs, is sealed in acid-free plastic inside vacuum-sealed bags.

Photographs of every business in town are part of the time capsule stash. In 1982, the historical society’s founders photographed every building in the village. Today’s members repeated the effort this year. Those photos, along with pictures of area homes, sights, parades and events are contained in an album.

This summer, PCHS members Jim and Judy Minshall Vowell recorded interviews with several long-time village residents. The resulting video is now preserved in three formats and nestled in the time capsule with devices that can run all three.

“We didn’t know what technology would be used in 25 years, so we included our ‘ancient’ machines,” Vance said.

The time capsule also contains books, newspapers, price lists, menus, toys, coins, a percolator coffee pot, a 2018 Jonathan Alder High School yearbook, and a pair of Crocs shoes.

All of the items are sealed in acid-free archival plastic inside vacuum-sealed bags. Some of the bags are in plastic tubs. Everything sits in a 70x29x30-inch vault donated by Ferguson Funeral Home, in business in Plain City for 110 years. The vault sits on a concrete slab surrounded by concrete blocks. The limestone slab sits on top. Brian Taylor, a public works employee with the village, designed the monument that surrounds the time capsule. Fellow employee Dusty Stickel helped him build it.

At a later date, a plaque will be affixed to the monument with this year’s date and the date it is to be opened.

Plain City Mayor Darrin Lane thanked everyone who made the time capsule and the bicentennial celebration as a whole possible. He spoke briefly about the village’s past and its future, including its pending shift from village to city status following the next census.

“I am sure that 200 years ago, our founding fathers could not imagine that what started as a small settlement would grow into this thriving village, nor could they imagine that Plain City would grow to be a city by the year 2020,” he said.

“We live in a special community that is moving toward the future while maintaining its history and acknowledging its past.”

(From left) Annabelle Tuller, Karen Vance and Rosemary Anderson of the Plain City Historical Society sit on the wall of the bicentennial time capsule monument at Pastime Park. The time capsule is located behind the wall and contained in a metal vault surrounded by cement blocks capped with a limestone slab. Tuller spearheaded the time capsule project as part of the village’s 200th anniversary celebration this year.
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