Officials, residents help bury historic time capsule

ESCANABA – One hundred years from now, a time capsule will be unearthed in Escanaba revealing a lot about the community that was here a century before that.

During a special ceremony Sunday, a small casket containing 32 items – including a cell phone, a pasty recipe, and locally-brewed wine – was buried at the municipal dock.

Also encapsulated was assorted information on Escanaba’s 150th anniversary celebration which concluded its 10-day’s worth of events on Sunday.

Esky150 Chair Pat Baribeau welcomed a small crowd to the sesquicentennial’s final ceremony, announcing the contents enclosed in the casket that was donated by Skradski-Boyce Family Funeral Home.

Assorted materials from the anniversary celebration included stories, a souvenir booklet, a set of 13 booster buttons, the historical homes tour booklet, and other promotional materials. Information about Escanaba’s all-school reunion was also included.

Objects enclosed in the box consisted of a small pump manufactured by Engineered Machined Products, “Old Escanaba” wine from Leigh’s Garden Winery, a Verizon 3G cell phone, a 2013 U.S. mint set, a laminated one dollar bill, a human rights campaign sticker, and iron ore pellets.

The latest weekend edition of the Daily Press from July 13-14 was encapsulated. Menus from Culver’s, Rosy’s Diner, The Stone House, and Wendy’s reveal some local restaurant meals and their prices from 2013.

“That’s a lot of stuff to pack in that box,” commented Baribeau after reading off the complete list.

Mayor Leo Evans attended the event, thanking the Esky150 Committee for preserving the city’s history in the time capsule, which will be opened in 100 years.

During the ceremony, Frances Wolfe Michael and Bill WIlliams read original prose depicting the history of the city, its founder, and the immigrants who created a community with “sweat and persistence.” The reading described Escanaba as “a city connected by the bonds of family, faith and friendship.”

Area residents are included in the time capsule in the form of AT & T phone directories of Escanaba, Gladstone and Manistique. A June 2013 AT & T telephone bill is also enclosed. Local leaders are preserved in the 2013 directory of Delta County officials.

In 100 years, those opening the time capsule will see the area’s businesses in the Bays de Noc Lifestyle and Business Directory. Teachers and staff will be remembered in the 2013-14 Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District Directory.

Baribeau said a century from now, people will see how much houses cost today in the May 2013 Real Estate Showcase Booklet placed in the capsule.

Additional publications in the box are the South Central Upper Peninsula Community Guide, “Pioneer Escanaba, Michigan 1863-1883” by Charles Lindquist, and “Through the Years Memoirs” by Patt Abrahamson-Besse.

Historical accounts of OSF St. Francis Hospital and Bay College were placed inside the casket along with information and a sample boarding pass from the Delta County Airport.

In addition to a copy of Escanaba’s 2013-14 budget, other items depicting city information are a city utility bill, the city’s annual drinking water quality report, and local weather data compiled by water plant staff.

In honor of a recently-deceased council member, the obituary of Brady Nelson was included among the items encased in the historical collection.

Those attending Sunday’s ceremony were invited to shovel dirt to bury the time capsule which is located near the 1963 centennial time capsule scheduled to be resumed in 2063.