Time capsule preparations underway

Kate Clabough, Loudon Public Library director, discusses the wide range of items people can put in the time capsule.

After digging up the water-damaged remains of the 1970 time capsule left members of the community disappointed, the Loudon County Sesquicentennial Committee isn’t making the same mistakes as they look to residents to submit items for the new time capsule.

Residents can drop off items they want placed in the time capsule 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Loudon County Courthouse Annex parking lot. Submissions will also be accepted at any of the libraries in Loudon County until that date or can be emailed to 150yearsofloco@gmail.com.

Submissions will also be accepted through the end of the year, Bo Carey, committee member, said.

Time capsule items can include written letters, toys and photographs. There are no parameters except if it’s for someone specific in 50 years, include their full name and birthdate so they can be located to receive the item, Beverly Sweeney, committee member, said.

Templates for written items can be found at www.150yearsofloco.com.

“As a starting point (for children) we suggested they give us lists of their favorite stuff like video games or board games or their best friends or what classes they do best in in school, the most trouble they’ve ever been in, where they like to go on vacation, what their favorite sports teams are, what’s their favorite place in Loudon County,” Sweeney said. “Some of the stuff, the worst trouble you’ve been in, that’ll be funny in 50 years.”

Carey suspects many 2020-themed items will go into the time capsule such as face masks and various political items.

“But I would hope that people would put items in to remember their families,” he said. “… I think that every family in Loudon County, every organization, every church, every club should put something of interest. And it could be an item, it could be a document, it could be a family picture or group picture of an organization. It could simply be any type of memo.”

The committee plans to compile a scrapbook showing the positive things that happened in 2020, including births, marriages, new houses, new cars, graduations and awards, Sweeney said.

Committee members learned from previous mistakes so the new capsule won’t go underground. Instead, the Tellico Village Woodworkers Club is fashioning three hollow cases from wooden beams pulled from the Loudon County Courthouse after it burned. On top of the hollow cases, glass display cases will hold the recovered items from the 1970 time capsule. The new items will be hidden inside the hollow wooden cases, Sweeney said.

Plans are to put at least one of the cases on display in the new courthouse once it’s built. If there’s room, it would be ideal for all three to be on display, but backup plans include placing display cases in the annex and at the county office building, Sweeney said.

Where the display cases ultimately end up will depend on Loudon County Commission’s wishes, Carey said.

Carey wants as much of Loudon County to participate as possible.

“We want to challenge every family, every club, every organization, every church to place some item or some memo or some written piece of information in this time capsule so the people of 2070 can see what’s going on,” he said. “… We hope people will come up with unique, pertinent and informational items to put in this time capsule. … I‘m a little disappointed that a lot of Loudon countians haven’t done anything, and I think they’re just not aware with all the other things going on.”