The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 5, 2013

Wyoming museum collecting time capsule items

By Mary Catherine Brooks
Wyoming County Bureau Chief

— Plans are moving forward for a time capsule that will include items from Wyoming County families, churches, businesses, organizations and individuals to be buried June 20 as part of West Virginia Day activities by the county’s historical museum board members, according to Betsy Ross, museum treasurer and chairwoman of the time capsule project committee.

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.

On the second Saturday of each month, through June 1, from noon until 4 p.m. at the Wyoming County Historical Museum in Oceana, 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 emphasized.

“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,” she explained.

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.”

West Virginia, the only state created during the Civil War, is celebrating its 150th, or sesquicentennial, anniversary of statehood.

“We plan on having the capsule opened on June 20, 2063,” Ross said.

“For the bicentennial of West Virginia, we will be opening the time capsule. A 6-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.

“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.”

Re-enactments of Civil War skirmishes are also planned as part of the celebration, Ross said.

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.

— E-mail: mcbrooks@register-herald.com