Longview’s sesquicentennial capsule won’t be buried at courthouse; Scout troop seeks historical designation

Longview preservationists know the city’s sesquicentennial time capsule won’t be buried at the Gregg County Courthouse, but that’s where their certainties end.

During Tuesday’s meeting of Historic Preservation Commission, members discussed a time capsule planned in conjunction with the Gregg County Historical Commission that would be filled and buried during next year’s 150th anniversary of the city.

Also Tuesday, commission members toured the century-old Boy Scouts Troop 201 hut at Teague Park. The tour was brought on, City Planner Angela Choy said, because the troop has expressed interest in pursuing a local historical landmark designation from the city.

Months ago, the consensus among the Historic Preservation Commission and the Gregg County Historical Commission was to bury the capsule on the courthouse grounds just as a centennial capsule was buried there in 1970.

However, Historic Preservation Commissioner Jim Cogar — who is on a subcommittee planning the time capsule — said members are “overwhelmingly in accord that it needs to be buried” on city of Longview property.

The question is where, he added.

Subcommittee members considered burying the capsule at a site on West South Street where the city plans to build a new fire station, but Community Services Director Laura Hill, who is leading sesquicentennial planning, panned the idea, Cogar said.

Commissioners have turned their attention to at least two other municipal facilities — the Longview Public Library and Central Fire Station, which originally was City Hall.

Along with a burial site, planners also must determine the capsule’s size and contents as well as fundraising because it will likely have a four-digit price tag, Cogar said.

Subcommittee members will continue to discuss the matters during future meetings, as no decision could be made Tuesday because the commission lacked a quorum.