Jackson County officials, having restored and rededicated the historic Square Courthouse last year, now are looking to set aside a few pieces of contemporary life to be opened and viewed generations from now.
The county is working on a time capsule.
“The history of that building is incredible,” says County Executive Mike Sanders.
Last September, officials rededicated the building, now often called the Truman Courthouse, on the 80th anniversary of the 1933 rededication (the building itself dates in some form to 1836). The renovation this time around included gutting much of the inside, and that turned up tools and other items from the early 1930s that had been left behind the walls. And a pipefitter, for example, had signed his name. Officials found his son and invited him to last September’s event.
All of that, Sanders said, got officials to thinking. So some of those items and contemporary ones are among the things to be stored in the time capsule being worked on now, with the idea that it will be opened in about 80 years.
The county is looking for ideas. There was a log that people could sign at the rededication and, later, at other places. About 550 people have signed that. On its website, the county is asking people to answer the question, “What did 2013 mean to you?” (The deadline is Friday. Go to www.jacksongov.org. It’s at the top of the page.) Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are being encouraged to enter a poetry contest in the coming weeks, with the winners going into the capsule.
Sanders and Independence Mayor Don Reimal are to write letters, and Sanders is being asked to come up with predictions for life 80 years from now. There will be newspaper articles and books about the courthouse rededication, as well as articles about the major news events of 2013. There will be some currency, an autograph by Chiefs Coach Andy Reid and a rendering of Truman’s famous “The Buck Stops Here.”
And, yes, there will be Twinkie.
The time capsule itself will sit in a safe in the courthouse. Plans are to close the capsule during the week of Truman’s birthday, May 8.
“And we’re taking any ideas,” Sanders said.