By Mary Catherine Brooks
Wyoming County Bureau Chief
In the only state created during the Civil War, Wyoming County Historical Museum board will mark the 150th anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood by burying a time capsule June 20 as part of West Virginia Day activities, according to Betsy Ross, museum treasurer, who also serves as chairman of the time capsule project committee.
“We plan on having the capsule opened on June 20, 2063,” Ross said.
“In the past, we have had special events to celebrate our heritage,” Ross noted. “During the centennial celebration of West Virginia, in 1963, the railroad brought in passenger service and provided a trip down the Guyandotte River to what is called the ‘Wilds of Wyoming.’
“That was before R.D. Bailey Lake was created,” she said. “They were only getting started on that project.
“During the sesquicentennial celebration, we have had reenactments of the Civil War skirmishes in Wyoming County. There were no major battles, but there was certainly conflict,” Ross said.
“For the bicentennial of West Virginia, we will be opening the time capsule. A six-year-old student (today) will be 56 years old. A senior in high school will be planning to come to their 50-year reunion of graduation,” Ross pointed out. “A few of them will be having their 50-year wedding anniversaries.”
While students and school staff across the county have already began work on the project, Ross emphasized that organizers want as many people as possible involved, including businesses, churches, organizations, families, among others.
On the second Saturday of each month, Feb. 2-June 1, from noon until 4 p.m. at the museum, committee members will provide supplies — including acid-free paper — for those interested in participating in recording information for the capsule.
Additionally, specific information about the project and what will be included will be available, Ross said.
“It could be as simple as a photograph of your place of business with your employees standing outside, or even inside, the establishment,” Ross said. “We have additional handouts that folks can complete to give those in the future a better insight into 2013. If someone wants to include a letter for the future in the capsule or provide some special artifact or replica, they may do so.”
Final selection of the items included in the time capsule will be the decision of the project committee, she said.
“We are interested in giving the future a view of our past and their heritage,” Ross noted. “Some families have been in Wyoming County since before the Civil War. We have evidence of things from the past. We would like to share our present time with the future.
“We cannot include energy drinks, but we could use pictures of them,” Ross joked.
“We could not include a car, but we could use a matchbox model or an assortment of pictures of fine trucks currently on the market.”
For more information, contact Betsy Ross, P.O. Box 411, Pineville, WV 24874, or the Wyoming County Historical Museum Time Capsule Committee, P.O. Box 2041, Oceana, WV 24870.