Mayor picked to keynote Longview 150 time capsule burial ceremony

Longview Mayor Andy Mack will be asked to give the keynote speech when the city’s Historic Preservation Commission buries the sesquicentennial time capsule.

The ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. May 8 at Central Fire Station on Cotton Street, will culminate Longview 150, the five-month celebration of the city’s May 1870 founding.

“The time capsule burial will be the last sesquicentennial event, appropriately,” District 1 Council member and Historic Preservation Commission liaison Ed Moore said.

During their monthly meeting Tuesday, commissioners went over donations for the steel time capsule that measures 4 feet long, 3 1/2 feet wide and more than 1 foot deep.

Commissioners plan to invite all former Longview mayors, City Council members and employees to the ceremony.

Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Jim Cogar agreed to introduce the keynote speaker, and if Mack is unable to keynote the event, then Mayor Pro Tem Steve Pirtle will be asked to step in.

“I’m sure Mayor Mack will want to speak,” Cogar said. “We’re still going with this is a Longview-based themed, so official invitations I think should be to those Longview dignitaries.”

The deadline for residents and donors to submit items to be placed into the capsule is March 2.

So far, the city has received a Pine Tree ISD football helmet, two autographed books from Longview author Kimberly Fish, local cookbooks, the most recent copy of Charm magazine and a coffee mug, City Planner Angela Choy said.

“I talked with (AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Co.), and they said they would be interested in submitting something,” Choy said.

Cogar, Moore and Historic Preservation Commission member Mike Smith said they expect a flood of time capsule entries closer to the March 2 deadline, and they suggested that volunteers are sought to catalog and prepare donated items for preservation.

Meanwhile, Choy will join Fire Chief J.P. Steelman and Facilities Manager Kevin Chumley to walk the Central Fire Station grounds on Friday to survey a burial spot that doesn’t interfere with underground water or other utility lines, she said.

“I reached out to the time capsule company to find out what’s the best way to bury the time capsule, and they didn’t give me a lot of help,” Choy said. “They pretty much just told me to dig a hole.

“I asked them if it should be horizontal or if it should be vertical, and they just said make sure the hole is big enough,” she said. “It wasn’t helpful.”