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 The anticipated reveal of items stored away in a time capsule at the Henryetta Library since 1972 was disheartening Monday afternoon.
With the help of a backhoe, the seal on a fiberglass vault was broken showing water had ruined much of the memorabilia placed there by the Henryesta organizers.
Over half a dozen plastic bags that were hoped to protect paper products had been soaked turning the contents into unrecognizable lumps of paper.
On the positive side, a number of Henryetta Free-Lance newspapers from the week leading up to the sealing of the capsule were still in nearly pristine condition.
In addition to the newspapers, a series of tape recordings made by individuals from the city, chamber of commerce and other organizations appeared to be in good condition. There was a bag containing several decoys from G&H Decoy as well as a city map that was still in good condition.
Over a hundred people were on hand to witness the disinterment including Dr. Raymond Sewell who was present when everything was buried.
Dr. Sewell even had the commemorative shovel that was presented to Henryesta committee members at that time. He was a member of the Lions club and that organization, along with other civic groups participated in the special event.sewell daughters
The former biology teacher and administrator said he became acquainted with Henryetta when he met, “a cute little chick from Henryetta,” when he enrolled in college at East Central in Ada.
He went on to say he put a ring on her finger in 1948 and the two started a 71-year love affair. He and wife June, raised three children, with two of the daughters, Sheila and Lana present Monday for the capsule ceremony. “We always loved Henryetta. It’s in our blood. We loved the people here.”
“He knew exactly where what shovel was and never used it,” Lana said and Dr. Sewell was quick to say that means he didn’t do any work.
All of the items removed from the time capsule were taken to the Henryetta Chamber of Commerce office to dry out and let chamber members see what can be salvaged. They will be put on display in the front window of the chamber in the days to come.
sewellAlong with Dr. Sewell was Donnie Smith who had the shovel his father, Ernest, held on that October, 1972 event. Smith said he heard about the time capsule and found the shovel among his father's personal possessions. It, like Dr. Sewell's, had never been used. To commemorate the Monday event, Smith presented the shovel to the chamber to be part of the display.