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Mont Alto caps centennial celebration by planting time capsule

July 14, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Larson Wenger holds a chain attached to a time capsule as Mont Alto (Pa.) Mayor John Esser shovels dirt to cover it. The town filled and buried the time capsule Sunday to cap the weekend's celebration of its 100th birthday.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch

MONT ALTO, Pa. — As Mont Alto residents filled a time capsule Sunday afternoon, Mayor John Esser mused that the people who open it in 100 years will probably not be familiar with newspapers and printed books.

He said they might hardly recognize iPads.

“In our time, we’ve seen advancements in cars and technology. Likewise, we can’t even fathom what it’ll look like in 100 years,” Esser said before the time capsule was lowered into the ground across from borough hall.

Burying the time capsule marked the end of a three-day celebration of the municipality’s 100th year. On Saturday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett led a parade through town.

Noreen Verdier has lived in Mont Alto her entire life and attended all the centennial celebration events.

“It’s a pretty friendly town. ... I like the small towns better than cities,” she said.

Volunteers who planned the weekend’s events placed items in the time capsule, which is constructed from PVC pipe. The items placed inside included a cellphone, souvenir mug and ornament, church program, cookbook, newspapers and information about the Mont Alto Fire Department.

Also included was a lead pipe meant to allude to the borough being incorporated due to a need for a public water supply.

Committee member Dennis Monn lightheartedly questioned whether future generations would have a CD player to play the included disc.

“How are they going to play it even 10 years from now?” he asked.

Jennie Gilbert moved several times before returning to Mont Alto. She said everyone in the town of 1,700 knows each other.

There was a good turnout at the centennial events, Gilbert said.

“I think the whole celebration was well-attended and well-organized,” she said.

Committee chairman Charlie Kauffman told the 35 to 40 people gathered that they were “writing history” as they buried the time capsule. The capsule buried 4 1/2 feet down soon will be designated by a marker.

“None of us will be here to see it pulled up, but you can go to your grave knowing you saw it done and hopefully with a little sense of pride say, ‘I was part of that,’” Kauffman said.

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