Time capsule will capture piece of region for opening in 2211

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 8, 2011, Emily Newman, Cumberland Times-News 

Linda Burgess of Flintstone, Julianne Ferris of the Allegany County Museum and Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim place items on Sunday into the time capsule created as part of the 200th anniversary celebration of the National Road. The capsule was sealed and is slated to be buried and opened again at the 400th anniversary of the road in 2211.  Photo by Steve Bittner, Cumberland Times-News


CUMBERLAND — During the final day of the National Road bicentennial celebration, board members from the Allegany Museum, Mayor Brian Grim, City Planner Dave Umling and residents gathered to honor the National Road and to fill a 140-pound time capsule. The capsule, which will not be opened for 200 years, will sit in the base of the proposed National Road monument.

“Today we hold a celebration to end a week-long celebration of a road,” said Grim. “The creation of a highway that served as the Mother of All Roads.”

The 30-inch wide, 36-inch deep capsule was filled with various submissions from around the area, including a copy of Sunday’s Times-News, business cards of local officials, photos and various items from organizations, including the Grantsville Museum, Cumberland Masonic Lodge and the Cresap Society.

Grim also added a letter to the mayor of 2211, when the capsule wil be reopened and an American flag.

“(The flag) symbolizes a celebration and victory. ... It stands as the backdrop of men and woman who have fought and died. ... I hope it will be the first item seen,” said Grim.

Victor Rezendes, a member of the National Road Bicentennial Committee, said they placed everything from handcuffs to photos inside the capsule.

“The real key ... people look for is the human interest,” said Rezendes.

Umling, who’s helped with the celebration from the beginning, said that he hopes it inspires present-day citizens to think back.

“We hope people will stop and think about the significance 200 years ago,” said Umling. “(People 200 years from now) will know as little about us as we know about those people.”

Also as part of Sunday’s festivities, the winner of the Madonna of the Trails essay contest was officially recognized. Nancy Twigg wrote an essay on her mother, Mary Twigg’s lifestyle, comparing her hard work and perseverance to that of the Madonna of the Trails. The Madonna of the Trail monuments sit at 12 locations along the National Road to pay tribute to pioneer women.

“Take a lifetime, put it into 200 words, very challenging,” said Twigg.

Hanna Livingston and Champ Zumbrun, payed tribute to Thomas Cresap, one of Maryland’s great frontiersman, by performing the Ballad of Thomas Cresap on their fiddle and guitar, respectively. Livingston, 13, from Frostburg, had the honor of playing with Del McCoury at last year’s DelFest and was invited back again to perform with him this year.

The time capsule was designed by Time Capsules Inc. of Prospect, Pa. It is hermetically sealed, made of 14-gauge, 316 stainless steel and is meant to withstand 500 years, 800 degrees Fahrenheit and is non-magnetic.

Time Capsules Inc. has constructed capsules for the Clinton Library, the Jamestown 400th Anniversary, Microsoft and Pepsi Co.

Emily Newman can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .