Share this article

print logo

Bicentennial time capsule nears finish

Allegany County's bicentennial bell has rung for the last time -- for 100 years, at least.

The clapper from that bell, which has spent 2006 helping to celebrate the county's 200th anniversary, was buried Wednesday next to the county courthouse.

The clapper is one of dozens of items interred in the bicentennial time capsule.
It won't be opened until the tricentennial, said Lee Gridley of Wellsville, a member of the bicentennial committee.

"We asked for donations from each of the towns" for the capsule, she said.
Some provided records, photographs and other items particular to those towns, she said.

Each of the 29 towns is represented in the capsule, she said.

C.R. Ackley of Wellsville "researched the capsule, designed it and had it built" in a local factory, she said.

"Fred Sinclair took over from there, researching how to seal and preserve it," said Gridley.

Ackley is a sheet-metal contractor and Sinclair, supervisor of the Town of Ward, is also manager of the county's Soil and Water Conservation District.

County Historian Craig Braack included a letter recounting the bicentennial -- and a roll of contemporary toilet paper -- in the capsule Wednesday.

An autographed copy of the bicentennial book, "Allegany in the 20th Century: Stories of Change," went into the capsule. Gridley and Braack, its principal authors, signed the volume.

Public Works Department workers and Sinclair prepared the hole on the courthouse lawn and Sinclair oversaw the pouring of concrete, sealing with silicone, addition of vermiculite to reduce moisture along with a special blanket designed to repel ambient heat in the summer -- all on top of a bed of special sand to promote drainage.

"The whole idea is to try to keep everything dry," said Gridley.

The now-silent bell is to be permanently installed on top of the capsule cover sometime before Monday, said Gridley.

That's because the official dedication of the bell and capsule will take place at 11 a.m. that day.

"We have a tent lined up and we'll have dignitaries on hand," she said.

The ceremony will be reminiscent of the April 6 official celebration of the bicentennial under canvas on the courthouse lawn, said Gridley.

She said municipal officials, county and state legislators, Committee Chairwoman Susan Myers of Friendship and others are expected at the ceremony, which is open to the public.

There are no comments - be the first to comment