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Heuvelton celebrates centennial, buries time capsule

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HEUVELTON — The village celebrated the passing of one century and its hopes for another with the burial of a time capsule to mark its 100th anniversary.

Heuvelton was incorporated on Dec. 30, 1912.

Centennial celebrations began Saturday afternoon with sledding and hot chocolate.

The snow was cleared from a small patch of land in Murdock Park and a hole was dug for the capsule as a crowd of about 40 people gathered for the dedication at 3:30 p.m. The rumble of snowplows clearing nearby streets mingled with the national anthem and prayers from village clergy.

“In 100 years they may not have snow, so this may be great,” Mayor Barbara A. Lashua joked.

The large metal box was filled with photos of the village, business cards and price lists from local stores, letters from second-graders and a package of plant seeds. A monument marks the burial site, instructing future generations to uncover the capsule in December 2112, on the 200th birthday of the village. The monument was donated by Fox & Murray Funeral Home.

State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, a village native, was on hand to mark the occasion, and to present the village with a proclamation from the state Senate offering congratulations on 100 years of incorporation.

During the ceremony, Mrs. Lashua expressed her hope that the next 100 years will be happy and successful for future generations of Heuvelton residents.

“That’s all you can hope for, that your community will grow and prosper,” she said. “You don’t want to let your heritage go by the wayside.”

Saturday’s celebrations in honor of the centennial have been in the works for several months, and the time capsule was one of the focal points.

During the planning stages, the village board ran into a problem: Large time capsules are expensive, and the village could not afford one.

Mrs. Lashua contacted Northwest Technical Center, Ogdensburg, and found a student willing to create one from scratch for his senior project.

The capsule shows respect for the past, Mrs. Lashua said, but it is also a vote of confidence in the future.

“With so many villages looking into dissolution, this seems like something to celebrate,” she said

After the dedication, the crowd gathered at Pickens Hall to listen to music, drink hot chocolate and share the village’s birthday cake. A fireworks show at 8 p.m. was to round out the festivities.

“With any luck, Heuvelton will have another 100 years of incorporation,” Mrs. Lashua said.

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