Note to readers: Barry Schraders DeKalb
County Life column will appear every other Tuesday.
Having been involved in five time-capsule projects over
the years, it was fun to organize a sixth one this year for the
Ney Grange members. They are observing their 85th anniversary
and plan to have it opened during their 100th year in 2029.
It is sobering, though, when I realize the majority of
the current Grange members, including me, will be deceased by
then, with maybe a half dozen still able to witness its opening.
Two of our youngest Grangers, Hunter and Madelynn Swanson, should
remember where we stored it. They will be 27 and 21 years old
respectively by then.
The 27 members were invited to write a personal (life history)
letter to be shared in 15 years, then include a souvenir that
would fit in this cylindrical stainless steel container about
a foot long and four inches in diameter.
We used an old film developing tank, which is perfect for
storing artifacts and paper in a temperature-controlled environment.
We chose the Joiner History Room in Sycamore to archive it for
us, since there is not a Grange Hall anymore. County historian
Sue Breese is young enough, and so should be around to supervise
the unsealing and sharing the contents.
Considering the size limitations, I wasnt sure what
to expect would be brought to the ceremony Nov. 1. It was done
in conjunction with the unveiling of the 1835 Miller-Ellwood
log cabin historical marker at the Hoppe Farmstead. We had mayors
The stainless steel 85th anniversary Ney Grange time
capsule was displayed at the November 1 ceremony along with many
of its contents in tray at left. The mortar and pestle in back
will be used to mix the sealing compound. The brick was just
to keep the cylinder from rolling off the table. (Photo by Curtis
Clegg)Ney Grange Lecturer Tom Rhoads, at left, presents
a Lifetime Community Service Award to Forest Preserves Supt.
Terry Hannan for his more than 30 years of preserving habitat
and protecting wildlife and open space in DeKalb County. (Curtis
from Kirkland, Mark Vicary from Genoa and Ken Mundy from Sycamore,
Village Trustee Jack Fischer from Kingston and State Rep. Bob
Pritchard there, plus two DeKalb County Board members
Julia Fauci and Sally DeFauw. Also present were DeKalb County
Sheriff Roger Scott and Forest Preserve District Superintendent
Terry Hannan, along with 50 others at the gathering.
Some of the objects they will discover when opening the
container: a 1940 Standing Liberty half dollar, a 2014 Lincoln
head penny provided by Kay Shelton, who is national president
of the Lincoln Highway Association, a 1960 Sycamore High School
class ring, a journalists writing tool (pen) from Debbie
Behrends who couldnt fit her tablet or laptop into the
capsule, a Linotype matrix from the old Genoa Republican backshop,
a 125th Anniversary shavers permit pin and a Genoa Depot pin
from Roger and JoAnn Watson.
One member brought a gold capped tooth extracted many years
ago, adding some value to the contents. Several membership pins
were included, such as 4-H, Rotary, Lions, Pork Producers, Belvidere
Chrysler Assembly Plant, Shaklee Presidents Club and a Pierre
Cardin 14-carat-gold stick pin.
Scott added a medallion depicting his sheriffs badge, and
longtime Ney Master Arden Awe contributed an early Grange pin
from 50 years ago. A thimble, thread and needle were chosen by
a longtime female member, the specifications and price of a new
John Deere 8270R tractor were brought by a farming member, and
an Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles
flight pin came from pilot Jack Bennett.
Since we had two members in the hospital, Ney chaplain
the Rev. Harlene Harden and one of three Grange Graces, Millie
Drake, their offerings will be added later.
The Grange also added a few artifacts documents
and meeting minutes from Neys past, a sealed bottle of
Kishwaukee River water provided by Peggy Doty, and a bottle containing
24 seeds from the Watson family heritage beans. They had just
been picked by Dan Kenney from the pioneer garden at the cabin
Some historical photos were included of local events and
places, plus a flash drive with photos taken at the 85th event
by photographer Curtis Clegg. In case that thumb drive is obsolete
by 2029, we also printed the photos for inclusion, as well.
Coincidentally, I mentioned our time capsule to Northern
Illinois University archivist Cindy Ditzler and she said NIU
has uncovered two time capsules recently, one when demolishing
Douglas Hall (circa 1962) and the other during the remodeling
of the Stevens Building (circa 1959). She expects to open them
in the coming months, which should prove interesting.
The list of contents and exact GPS coordinates for the
Ney capsule will be filed with the International Time Capsule
Society at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, which maintains
a registry of all capsules around the world.
Unfortunately, they report that more than 80 percent of
all time capsules have been lost because of inadequate planning
for their retrieval or loss of the markers identifying their
location. We can only hope that the Joiner History Room still
exists in 2029.