The Loudon County Sesquicentennial Committee is seeking help from families who participated in the centennial celebration in 1970.
As the celebration nears, the committee is hoping to collect memories, stories, photos and keepsakes from 50 years ago.
Bo Carey, committee president, said the group also wants residents to come forward with info about what could possibly be in the time capsule.
“If anyone is actually alive who placed something in that capsule, we would like them to report what it was so we can look for it when we examine the contents,” Carey said. “I saw a lady in the grocery story yesterday. She said, ‘Well, my father put something in there … I know he was a coin collector, and he had a lot of 50 cent coins.’ So I said, ‘You know what? We’ll look for those when we get into it.’ So that’s what we’re trying to do right now is get anybody who has any knowledge of what was placed in that capsule 50 years ago … to register with us right now what they know.”
Coming forward with knowledge will ensure families get precious items back, but also helps the general public. Carey hopes to spread knowledge about Loudon County’s history with the items retrieved from the capsule and the information learned.
“On the other hand, if they knew it was something that was supposed to be for the general public, we can identify it and know more about it when we place that out there for all Loudon Countians to observe,” Carey said. “We plan to have some type of display case and possibly show it in different parts of the county toward the end of the year to show everyone what was placed in that time capsule 50 years ago. So that’s the big thing right now. We’re looking for recognition. We’re looking for identification.”
The committee is also looking to collect the stories and memories of people who were alive during the 1970 celebration.
“We would like to share (their stories),” Ruth McQueen, committee member, said. “We would like to add them to the Loudon County history. We have the Loudon County historian on our committee, and he has a group that I think is one of the most exciting things that’s happened because of our committee that he is filming interviews. He started with some of the older veterans in the county but has expanded that to people with interesting stories from all walks of life.
“If we can identify some of these folks, we would like to collect their stories, interview them, do some video, so we can have this for posterity sake,” she added. “We probably will put some of this material into the time capsule that will be established this year for other people to open 50 years from now.”