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Concord Bicentennial celebrations culminate in time capsule burial

RESTING PLACE — The Concord Bicentennial time capsule was lowered into the ground on the corner of Franklin and Mechanic streets, where it will lie until 2062. Photos by Jeff Martin.

CONCORD — In 50 years, future residents of Springville will get a glimpse of what was buried near the steps of the Concord Town Hall, on a cool, drizzly 2012 day.

On Oct. 7, community members gathered for 1-mile foot races, a chicken dinner, music and the interment of a Concord Bicentennial time capsule. The celebration those residents have been observing this year began in early spring and has attracted thousands of people, through numerous events and activities.

Robert Hebden, a former teacher in the Springville School District, came to watch his sons and granddaughter run and to show his support for a town he has lived in and near for most of his life.

Hebden said he has witnessed much of Concord’s history, although he added that one issue has become a concern, to him. “One thing we’ve lost is the landscape,” he said, as he looked around. “It’s become a lot more vacant, with the loss of trees. They used to vault over almost all the roads and now, not so much. That’s bothersome to see.”

A runner all of his life, Hebden said that he came to Concord on Sunday to show his support. His wife Barbara accompanied him and said that she was in attendance to cheer on her granddaughter Hanna. “I’ve loved living in this area,” she said.

Originally known as Fiddlers Green, because of the many fiddlers who played in the area, the village of Springville became incorporated in 1834, the first village to do so, in Erie County.

STANDING PROUD — At the beginning of the Concord Bicentennial celebration Oct. 7, Boy Scouts formed a color guard and presented the colors. The Fiddlers Green Militia (pictured) fired a musket volley and the national anthem was sung.

According to local historians, the area was attractive to settlers, because of the abundant springs. Throughout the years, the area has been home to George Schuster, who won the auto race from New York to Paris, and to Glenn “Pop” Warner, a college football coach and advocate of youth athletics, specifically football. The area also served as a practice site for athlete Jim Thorpe, as he trained for the 1912 Olympics.

Derek Otto, a steering committee member for the Concord Bicentennial Committee, said that the numerous events, throughout the year have been “overwhelmingly successful. And the weather cooperated, for the most part,” he added.

Otto was one of several judges who cleared runners in the 1-mile race, as participants stepped across the finish line. The run was a traditional event held in past celebrations.

One of the runners, Springville-Griffith Institute student McKenzie Maloy, was the first of many to finish the race. A member of the S-GI varsity cross-country team, Maloy said she participated “for the fun of it,” as well as the challenge. “It was another chance to work out,” she said, after finishing the 1-mile race in a little more than 6 minutes.

With the race completed, event attendees gathered in the town hall for food, music and the bestowing of race awards.

The Concord Bicentennial Steering Committee got down to work, sealing a transparent time capsule, donated by Springville Door & Window, before the box was lowered into a concrete vault donated by Kistner Concrete.

Otto said that “much thought and consideration” were put into what was placed inside the capsule for its 50-year interment. Committee members selected dozens of items, including a DVD player, car keys, a New York state license plate, a 2012 phone book, a laptop computer, copies of the Springville Journal’s new format edition from June and the last PennySaver.

WE DID IT! — Winners in the various categories of the 1-mile race were presented with their awards prior to the burying of the time capsule. Photos by Jeff Martin.

There were also photographs from the area, reunion photographs and several items from area businesses, placed inside.

In 2062, Springville residents will dig up the box from its concrete resting place, on town property near the corner of Franklin and Mechanic streets and glimpse the past through these curiosities. “Who knows what it will be like in 50 years?” Otto said.

In 2034, community members will unearth a different time capsule, which was buried in 1984.

“I could probably make that one,” Brenda Wakefield of Springville, said as she watched the first clump of dirt strike the Concord Bicentennial box. “Don’t think I’ll make the 2062 one, though.”


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