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August 13, 2020
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Penngrove buries time capsule

March 22, 2019

The Penngrove Historical Society completed Phase I of its project to send a message to future townsfolk with the burial of a time capsule Feb. 15. Phase II will take place sometime in or around the year 2068. Should take place, that is. The group is working to ensure that this interment does not have the same fate as the capsule the members buried during the Bicentennial year. No one recalls exactly where it was laid to rest, and construction has possibly covered what may be its truly final resting place. 

The 2018 casket holding relics-to-be was buried near the entryway to the new Penngrove Market. Club members gathered there Sunday afternoon, Feb. 15. Other members arrived in a pickup and unloaded grave digging equipment. The tomb site was carefully scribed and marked with blue painter’s tape. A concrete saw whirred to life and sawed the four sides of the excavation. Next, an electric jackhammer chipped away at the concrete walkway. The rubble was removed and energetic workers began sweating over an ever lengthening post hole digger. When the handle, eight feet from the burrowing tip, came within a foot of ground level, an 8-inch PVC tube was inserted in the cavity and sand was packed around it. Then the 4-inch PVC capsule itself, clearly labeled and securely sealed, was slid into the sarcophagus, and the burial chamber was covered with a layer of concrete and marked with a capstone made from a piece of local rock. Proudly set in the market entrance, the stone marker reads PENNGROVE Time Capsule 2018-2068. 

The project was a group effort with significant input by Martin Sessi, property owner; Kim Hanson, town hostess and cheerleader; Jennifer Bell, who carved the capstone at her Lost Creek Etching studio; rock from Lee Brians’ quarry; and Burr Wilson, fashioner, caretaker and director of the entombment process. Many other Society members and townspeople took part over the two years from proposal to closing ceremony. 

The next time you are at the Penngrove Market, notice the stone marker in front of the main doors and think of the fun our descendants—and the kids that helped with the hole digging— will have viewing the scraps of life in Penngrove 50 years ago when the Time Capsule is un- earthed in 2068. 

Submitted by Lew Baer