It’s a story 25 years in the making. In 1993, Summit Middle School in Allen County filled a time capsule with items and buried it deep inside the walls of the school’s lobby to mark the grand opening. On November 1, 2018 they dug it up.
Some of the staff and students who were there in 1993 were invited back for the ceremony. Sue Jehl was one of them. “It never occurred to me that I’d still be here,” said the Summit Middle School band director. She still teaches at the school and was glad to participate in the ceremony. “I’m really grateful that 25 years ago people had the foresight to bury that time capsule knowing that they might not be here but to those of us that are here it’s been fun and exciting to see what they thought was important 25 years ago.”
Student letters and pictures were seen as important. So was a Falcons cap and memorabilia from Jurassic Park, a 1993 box office hit. There were also artifacts to reflect major moments in Fort Wayne history, such as a Komet’s anniversary hockey puck, items from then Mayor Paul Helmke and more.
“We also had newspaper articles on the St. Mary’s catholic church that burned down that year,” said Summit Middle School Principal Dr. Joshua St. John. “There were also some magazines, a 50 year commemoration from the end of World War Two and a variety of different things.”
Principal St. John said this year’s Summit Middle staff and students are now responsible for the next 25 year time capsule project. “What we do is not for us but those who come behind us. So we’re going to carry forward building a new time capsule to be earmarked for 2043 and current students and staff are putting that together this year.”
Students and staff are still deciding what to put in the time capsule. “Each club or class should put something in there so that people 25 years from now have an idea of what kind of classes and extra-curricular activities we had,” said student Thomas Hill.
“I think that an iPod would maybe good in the time capsule,” said student Meghan Kelley. “It’s been fun coming up with a list and we’ll be completing that list and then in May we’ll be burying that so they’ll be a lot more time to generate some great ideas,” said Yehl.
While the items to commemorate 2018 and 2019 are still being decided, those at Summit Middle say what’s most important is choosing items that not only reflect school history but local history as well, to create a link from the past to the future. “It builds a bridge from our time to one in the future and they can sort of have a window into the past,” said Kelley.
Some of the other items that were in the time capsule included cassette tapes, a poster of then Vice-President Dan Quayle, Miracle-Gro, the American flag and a box with pieces of the Berlin Wall that was destroyed in 1991.