NIAGARA-The City of Niagara kicked off its centennial celebration Wednesday by digging up two time capsules buried over the past fifty years.
“I’ve lived in Niagara my whole life, so 35 years,” said Brad Butler proudly.
Long before centennial committee co-chair Brad Butler was born, folks in Niagara placed this stone for safekeeping over a time capsule.
“It was put there for the 50th celebration, and then they put one in there for the 75th,” explained Butler.
“In 1964 I was here for the celebration in Niagara. My grandfather was collecting things to put in the time capsule,” said Laura Tarenski.
Tarenski says she’s fulfilling a promise to her grandfather by being here for this.
As shovels hit the earth, her memories pile up like the dirt.
“Just imagine that it’s something you did 50 years ago and now it’s coming to pass again,” said Tarenski.
Butler and his uncle first found the capsule buried in 1989.
Friends and neighbors swarmed to pour over the pictures and reminisce.
The contents like this pamphlet from 1989 were pretty easy to unearth. But the stuff from 50 years ago took a little bit more effort.
The 1964 capsule had been buried deeper.
Once hauled out of the hole, the committee members couldn’t figure out how to open the soldered-shut capsule.
After nearly twenty minutes of pounding, they tried a more modern method—the electric saw in the mayor’s garage, just across the street.
A convenience of being in a small town, you could say.
After ten minutes of sawing, finally success.
They pieced through the history, and found familiar faces of their forefathers.
“He was a policeman in town,” said Tarenski, looking at a picture of her grandfather and his coworkers.
The people of Niagara realized even though so much has changed, the things that matter most, have stayed the same.
“It’s mostly still a small town, good people. Things like that don’t change. It’s a slower life, but it’s a nicer life,” said Butler.
A way of life they plan on celebrating for another 100 years to come.
The centennial committee says time capsules will be on display until June.
Then they’ll head back in the ground with a new time capsule from 2014.
Organizers say they will leave better instructions on how to open this year’s installment, so people in the future will have an easier time.