Closing Of The Wetzel County Time Capsule
This Saturday at 6 p.m. the Wetzel County Time Capsule will be sealed until the year 2116. The evening program will be the final part of the project that has spanned six months since planning first began. A short ceremony will take place while those in attendance watch the capsule’s sealing. Commissioner Larry Lemons, Senator Kent Leonhardt, Mary Jo Guido (representative for Joe Manchin) and Delegate Dave Pethtel will speak at the ceremony. Pastor Vic Hunter will give a prayer blessing for the event. The dedication will be hosted by Chuck Clegg, member of the time capsule project’s committee. The ceremony will conclude with the setting of the nearly one ton capstone. At 5:45 p.m. a picture of the gathering will be taken and processed to be the last item placed within the capsule before sealing.
Over the coming months, people will pass by on Main Street and some will take notice of the monument and the words written on the front. “In the year 2016 this capsule was sealed to be opened in 100 years. It is our hope future generations will find understanding of our world, and the daily lives of those who sealed this capsule.”
Those who pass will read the words, mostly out of curiosity. But, with time, the monument and its words will simply become another piece of background on Main Street. It will be like the grand statue of Levi Morgan. How many times have you passed by and taken little notice of Levi’s stone stare, toward the rising sun? With each passing year, the time capsule monument will become less noticed and almost forgotten. It will become a concrete curiosity left by our generation.
For the next 99 years, little or no attention will be paid to the silent gray monument. It won’t even have the distinction, as does the Morgan statue, of an occasional newspaper story, reminding people that Levi’s statue really is part of our community and was not misplaced from Morgantown.
When the capsule is sealed, it will have placed inside a collection of letters. Some are from high school seniors, explaining to future students their impressions of their world today. In the words of their letters is a sense of frustration, even at their young age. Their words also see a bit of hope as they become the leaders of tomorrow; they hope to fix those things they believe need changing. There are also letters from educators, telling of their careers educating students in today’s world of social challenges. They too believe change is coming and things will continue to improve in the classrooms of tomorrow, at least they are hopeful.
Some of the most moving letters are from cancer survivors and words meant to tell of the terrible disease that affects so many in our world today. In the words of survivors is a belief that someday cancer will be defeated with hope and research. For those who read their words a hundred years from now, they will gain understanding how difficult it was, for so many before the disease was defeated. Hope, science and prayer will make tomorrow better for those with cancer in the future.
There are letters from people who tell of their family’s history. Each took the time to write about their family and where they are today. They hope their words will someday be read by future generations of their own family. Those words of family written down on paper will allow them to touch our world today and their past generations.
Also placed in the capsule will be magazines telling of today’s science and medicine. When people in the future read the stories in the National Geographic magazines, they will learn of the new breakthroughs in medicine and science we are making today. They will come to understand our science and medicine opened the doors to improvements in the future. They will also find metal coins, such as those in your pocket. Dimes, nickels and quarters with small monetary value in our world today. But, in the future, coins will have long disappeared from the economics of the world and only be found in private collections and museums. Monetary exchange will be done with some futuristic form of credit. No more pocket change.
Outdoorsmen in the future will find a couple of fishing plugs that were used to catch fish in local streams. They will also find West Virginia Fishing Regulations along with information about wildlife and fish species in the area. Who knows what the future may bring for tomorrows sportsmen. Perhaps in the future, wildlife will have become something you can only see in nature preserves, a place where nature’s creatures will be viewed by all and no longer hunted or fished for in the wild.
Will they have reading glasses in the future? Perhaps. Inside the time capsule will be a pair of reading glasses someone uses today to clearly see the words on a paper. In the year 2116, science of the eyes may progress from today’s reading glasses into perfect vision for all with no visible help.
Placed inside will be copies of the Wetzel Chronicle and Wheeling News-Register telling of events in today’s world. Pictures of yesteryear, along with pictures from around the county’s communities today. A small container of honey from Thistle Dew Farms for the sweet tooth of those in the future. If you are wondering – will it survive a hundred years? The answer is yes. Honey is not damaged by freezing or time. Honey that was found in King Tut’s tomb was still edible thousands of years after being placed there.
There will be information about the local industries and the part they played in our lives. If future generations still play marbles, there will be a small container of the glass creations from Paden City’s Marble King. At one time there were dozens of marble manufactures in this country. Today, there are only two left in America. I wonder if the future will find any still manufacturing the small glass orbs.
Those of us who worked on the time capsule project want to thank The Wetzel County Commission for their support in helping to build this monument. Thanks also goes to Wetzel CVB, Artslink, Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce, Bridgeport Rental Equipment, Rock of Ages Monument Works, ESSROC Concrete Company, Ace Hardware and Hatfield Graphics. Allen Miller owner of A-L concrete and his crew, Tyler Baker, Rick Roberts and Justin Roberts for their time and work. Tremendous Tree Trimming, Ryan Yost and Charles Cursus for operating heavy equipment. Iron Workers Dan Mahurin, Matt Bland and Carl Schmalz for construction of the iron support system for the monument. Axiall, Natrium Plant, Rick Harvey, Ben Nice and Nathan Anderson for construction of the time capsule. Thanks also goes out to Carmen Harman and radio station 99.5 for promoting the project. Without these businesses and dedicated people, the monument would have never been built successfully. I personally want to thank Earl Yost and Fran Caldwell for their many hours of work and guidance on this project. I have enjoyed working with them to complete this worthwhile venture.
Within each of us is the need to leave something behind – a way of telling those who come after us, “We were here and we made a difference.” The Wetzel County Time Capsule is that something left behind by all of us, but yet, it may not be so much about what we leave behind, as something we send into the future… as we look Through the Lens.