WEST POINT — The rain didn’t stop the people of West Point from coming out and burying small tokens of their history in a time capsule Monday at City Hall.
The time capsule is COVID-19 themed and the goal is to show what life was like in West Point during the pandemic. It is set to be opened in 50 years — on Aug. 22, 2072.
“The history of West Point goes back to the 1800s, but this is just a snapshot of life in West Point during the pandemic and how it affected our businesses, schools, just day-to-day life, shopping and eating,” said Lisa Klutts, director for community development with the West Point Clay County Growth Alliance. “It has letters and newspaper articles and lots of pictures, just what life has really been like living in West Point for the past three years.”
The capsule is sealed in the courtyard of City Hall, encased in a monument adorned with the names of those involved in its creation and the current administration for the city.
The capsule is the brainchild of Charles Ivy, who brought it before Mayor Rod Bobo earlier this year after seeing Columbus open a 49-year-old time capsule at Leigh Mall in October and bury one outside its City Hall in January, which will be opened in 2072.
“I went to the mayor at the end of January with the vision, and he told me to contact the Growth Alliance,” Ivy said. “We formed a committee, and our feet never touched the ground. We just kept going.”
But Ivy also wanted to use the lessons learned from Columbus’ unearthed time capsule — in which water had damaged much of its contents — to ensure West Point’s is a success.
“After seeing the unveiling of the time capsule in Columbus (last) year, and they said everything in there was ruined, that gave me the idea to do one for West Point, but I had the vision to put it in a monument and seal it up,” Ivy said. “We contacted a company out of New York, a preservation company, and we got acid free containers for photos, letters, everything, and it’s supposed to last for 100 years. So hopefully, it will still be like that when they open it up.”
Ivy took the lead on the project, aiming to see his idea through. He chaired the committee that was formed and other members included his wife, Tamara Ivy, Robert Smith, Louise Campbell and Klutts.
“I would like to thank Charles and Tamara Ivy for spearheading this event. I think it is much needed considering what we’ve gone through the last several years,” Mayor Bobo said in his remarks Monday.
Ivy was the boots on the ground when it came to gathering contents for the capsule as well, Klutts noted.
“I got on board and brought all of the parties together, formed a committee and all of the different logistics that it takes to do a time capsule,” she said. “He did the actual leg work, getting all of the contents.”
The contents vary, and there are a total of 117 items in the capsule.
Items were donated by citizens, first responders, schools, churches and businesses to name a few.
“In this time capsule, we have a total of 117 items individually sealed in acid free containers, tagged and numbered so that future generations will understand what we went through,” Ivy said. “We have resolutions from churches, resolutions from city and state officials. We have resolutions from first responders, we have resolutions from the schools. We have journals from first- through fourth-grade students at Oak Hill, Church Hill, West Clay and Hebron.”
There are also items specific to the pandemic.
There are COVID test kits, vaccination cards, masks, as well as the death numbers and total number of cases for West Point and Clay County.
The ultimate goal is education as well as inspiration.
“It is my prayer that something we’ve placed inside this time capsule will enlighten the future generation in 2072 once it is opened; that someone will be inspired and see what we went through,” Ivy said.
Monday was when all of the work came to fruition, and those involved were glad to see it happen.
“There’s always a lot of moving parts to projects like this, and so when you see it all come together it is just such a great sense of accomplishment, especially when the community shows up to support that effort,” Klutts said.
There were elected officials, employees for the city, citizens and school groups there to witness the ceremony.
Among them though, no one was as excited to see the ceremony play out as Ivy.
“I am so excited about it,” he said, “The city and county, they pulled together and supported the effort.”
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