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Maumee time capsule to mark 175th milestone

Friday finale to take place in theater


Brianna Wielinski, Terrell Hutcherson, teacher Danielle Pickle, Sophia Sokoloski, and Katie Kirk, from left, stand in front of the time capsule at the Maumee Indoor Theater. The time capsule is part of a year-long celebration of Maumee's 175th anniversary.

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During a series of activities marking Maumee's 175th anniversary a few months ago, it was the season for picnics, not parkas.

Now, as Christmas trees merrily twinkle just ahead of the calendar flip to 2014, city officials and others involved with Maumee's anniversary events this year will host a curtain-down finale at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St.

A time capsule will be dedicated during the open-to-the-public brief ceremony. Mayor Rich Carr and Maumee 175th Anniversary co-chairman Gregory Smith are among those scheduled to attend the presentation capping a year-long celebration of Maumee becoming a city in 1838. Mr. Smith is superintendent of Maumee City Schools.

Ty Szumigala, executive director of the theater, has been involved with the city to install the time capsule in advance of the Friday dedication. And what a time capsule it is, a whopper of a hopper circled with spun fiber bands of purple and gold (the school colors).

Area residents might recognize the styling of the cozy, colorful wrap. The maker was identified as “Street Spun Yarn Bomber,” an unnamed individual who, under the veil of darkness, decorates poles and other objects in the Toledo area with yarn.

Because the anniversary time capsule is bigger, and much heavier, than anticipated — it weighs a hefty 74 pounds — it has been mounted securely on a shelf and strapped in place, almost as though it is ready to launch.

Mr. Szumigala is pleased to display the time capsule where the public can view it. Years back, maybe 50, a time capsule was made in observance of a municipal milestone and buried. People who could identify the location died and no locator map can be found, he said. “We had a meeting about where to put this new time capsule and nobody wanted to bury it,” said Mr. Szumigala, an anniversary committee member.

It was in January when planning for anniversary events — an old-fashioned baseball game and ice cream social, debut of a documentary film on the city’s history, a tour of the Battle of Fallen Timbers Battlefield, a community pool party, and free movies at the Maumee Indoor Theater, among others — began, he said. “It's been a lot of work, but we have had so much fun with it.”

The city's theater area is a festive setting for the anniversary's conclusion. Red bows accent evergreen boughs in large planter urns near the theater. Gift-box shaped lighted displays add fun to the scene where earlier this week street pavement was white with skiffs of snow.

Julie Rubini, a Maumee 175th anniversary committee member, said it could be 25 or 50 years before the modern-day treasure chest is opened to reveal its contents. Items in the time capsule are a reflection of life today, she said.

The time capsule consists of items collected and created by students at Gateway Middle School and Wayne Trail Elementary School, an effort organized by Danielle Pickle, gifted teacher and district coordinator in Maumee City Schools.

Students selected items that reflect classroom technology as well as local history, such as a Native American arrowhead found in Maumee, Mrs. Pickle said. Giving the capsule some heft is an Xbox, books, school spirit wear, and other items relevant to life in the city of Maumee in 2013.

What else is in the capsule?

Only time will tell.

Contact Janet Romaker at: or 419-724-6006.

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