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Front Page » April 19, 2011 » Carbon County News » A puzzle for the Price time capsule: What should be in it?
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A puzzle for the Price time capsule: What should be in it?

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Sun Advocate reporter

With Price City's 100th year anniversary now underway, the city and its residents will be celebrating and commemorating the occasion by looking back at everything that has helped shape Price City over the centennial. But now the city council is facing their next biggest assignment: what about the next 100 years?

The topic was brought up during the Price City Council meeting on Wednesday as council members tossed around possible ideas on what could be included within a time capsule for the city.

While the current focus is on celebrating the city's first centennial, council members and other city officials are working to try and come up with a list of items that would best represent the city and its residents when the capsule is opened in the future. However, the work may not be as easy as it seems.

Choosing items to be placed inside the capsule is just one part of the equation. Whatever is chosen must be able to fit within a capsule, which is made up of a piece of pipe about two feet long, and must be able to be preserved inside for the duration of the time. Another question that will need to be determined is how long the city wants to have the capsule be put away as council members discussed two possibilities including 50 years and 100 years.

"It is difficult to determine what will be put into the time capsule," Piccolo said, noting many of the possibilities that exist which would determine how big the capsule must be.

Council members questioned putting video equipment, including CDs and DVDs, in the capsule but noted that the materials may not last over the years and the technology may be much different in the future. A copy of the Sun Advocate and other paper documents could be included, council members said, but they would need to be preserved for the next 50 to 100 years.

But of all the questions that will need to be answered, where the capsule will be located may the most significant. The city has looked into the possibility of having the capsule encased in the side of a building, such as City Hall, and placing a plaque on the outside of it. Another idea the city has looked into would have the capsule buried underground, however Gary Sonntag, Price City Public Works director, said that the prospect of groundwater affecting the capsule is one reason the city should look at other options.

Councilman Richard Tatton said that the city has looked into the possibility of creating a monument at a trail head near Fresh Market where the capsule would be placed above ground in a secure environment where the chances of weather affecting the capsule is lowered.

"We just need to come up with something for the capsule that will stand the test of time," Tatton said.

The items in the capsule will represent the city, the people and the history of the Price City, Tatton said, which makes finding the right items to put inside the capsule all the more important. One idea he has is including a copy of the original incorporation of Price City from 1911.

"We want to show that we remember the first 100 years of Price City and also show that everyone involved with this project was thoughtful in picking items that best represents the city and its residents," he said.

As the project is beginning to take shape, another area the city will need to focus attention on is getting the community involved, particularly young children, or those who have yet to be born. Tatton said he feels that age plays a big role with a project like this as the older someone gets, the more they may care about the history of the city. He remembers having his name included within a time capsule many years ago at a church building.

"You become more appreciative of something like a time capsule as you get older, Tatton explained.

Whatever may be put into the time capsule, the materials should focus on the businesses and the people that make the city what it is, according to Eldon Miller, a local historian. Miller, who researched and compiled stories for his book, Hiawatha Memories, said that 100 years from now it would be interesting to see the businesses and the people who may still be around.

"People would think about the time capsule in the future and ask themselves how am I related to the people and what went on 100 years ago in Price City," Miller said.

Current pictures of Main Street could provide a snapshot of the area and could be compared to older photos to see the changes that have taken place over the years.

Council members said they would be looking to work closely with longtime local businesses and the community in the coming months in finding the materials that best represent Price City in the current time.

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April 19, 2011
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