Photos:Jeremy Brown/The Portager 

    Garrettsville, Ohio may only be about two miles square, but this small town is ready to celebrate its heritage in a big way next month by opening a century-old time capsule. On July 6th, historians plan to reveal the contents of a time capsule that was installed in front of the local opera house in 1924 by the Garrettsville Study Club. The capsule was placed in a concrete and stone encasement 100 years ago to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the arrival of Garrettsville's first settling families in 1804.  Even though the opera house was demolished in 1964, the capsule remained in place and untouched.  

    James A. Garfield Historical Society President Debbie Smith says after the opening ceremony, known as "The Great Reveal", there will be a new time capsule buried in town this September.  Smith says they're looking for locals' family stories, childhood memories, pictures, pop culture references and whatever special notes they'd like to pass on to future generations to enjoy.  Smith says, "We're asking people from the community to come in, use archival paper and archival pens and just write a letter."  She adds, "It can be a full sheet, or a half sheet, about their predictions about 2104, which is when we're going to open it."

    Smith says, "We're trying to take everything from this present generation and capture it in this time capsule, so that when they open it in 80 years, at the 300th celebration, they can see - this is how we thought, this is what we favored, these are our favorite spots and see if those spots are even available." 

    Mayor Rick Patrick and his wife, Linnette are excited for the reveal and already submitted their memento to the new capsule with a video stored on an M-DISC which is said to last up to 1,000 years.  Patrick says, "We did a video interview of me and my wife that's going to be in there.  They basically asked us about the past, present and future, about Garrettsville and how it has progressed over the years." 

    Patrick says he hopes when the new capsule is opened years from now, Garrettsville is the same as it ever was.  He says, "We're limited for land use for building, so I really don't see it growing much that way. I don't see really much change coming in the future.  We try to, pretty much, keep it the way it is.  We want it to have the small-town feeling."

    The time capsule celebration on July 6th will be part of larger town festivities which include a beard contest, a community sing-along, a historical walk and an antique car show.  



Leave a comment