Wellington Centennial Time Capsule opened for the first time since 1971

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News

In 1971, Wellington decided to bury a time capsule in front of the Sumner County Courthouse. On the stone, it said the time capsule should be opened in 2021.

50 years later, the City of Wellington and neighboring towns in Sumner County gathered together in front of the courthouse to watch the opening of the time capsule. 

Before they opened the time capsule, masters of ceremony Larry Hatteberg, former KAKE News journalist, and Annette Lawless, Wellington native and current KAKE News anchor, introduced the Sumner County Commissioners and Mayors from each town in Sumner County.

After the introductions, they removed the time capsule from the ground and began opening the barrel. 

The first item removed from the barrel was a hat. Then, it was followed by letters, pictures, posters and much more. Hatteberg, Lawless and Wellington members read what was on the letters and whom they belonged to. 

There were many reactions when people heard their name, a former family member's name or a friend's name. This included excitement and tears. There were many residents who put a letter in the time capsule and were present at the ceremony.

"It's so exciting to go through these items," said Sumner County Clerk Debbie Norris. "I remember putting something in there when I was in sixth grade. I'm excited to read through and what I said."

Unfortunately, some items were tough to read due to them being wet. Over time, water got into the barrel and smeared the ink on the letters. 

At the event, Sumner County announced that they will be holding on to those items for a while. They want them to dry, so they can fully read what was written. Also, they'll take pictures, so it can be in their achieves. 

Once that's done, they'll either set up a date for people to pick up their letters designated for them or a family member, or they'll mail it out. More details will be announced on how they'll handle it. 

In October, during the Fall Festival, people cput items inside another time capsule that will be opened in 2071.