Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Thu, Oct. 17

Fond memories are stored with time capsule

Children were quiet as the old Palo Christi School safe was lowered into the time capsule in 1976.

"All the students and staff had worked for more than a year to prepare the items placed in the safe," said Madeline McVey, teacher and staff coordinator of the project.

"It was the centennial project that drove our lives through parts of two years."

One of the students - a fourth grader in 1976 - joined McVey at the time capsule at 301 N.

Fourth St.

at City Hall on Thursday.

Chuck Snelling brought his daughter, Debbie, 5, to see the time capsule and to tell her what her daddy had been part of a quarter of a century ago.

"She could be one of those here when the time capsule is opened in 2076," he said.

"She is 5 now and could be here with grandchildren."

Debbie had no problem understanding the concept of a time capsule.

She has seen enough of them on television.

"It was a hard concept for us to understand as fourth-graders in 1976," he said.

"It has been just 25 years and most of the items in the time capsule are already obsolete."

He said video recorders, cell phones, CDs, computers and the Internet were not yet known.

"I think the people who open the capsule will be more interested in the letters and stories we put in the safe," he said.

"I can imagine them remembering family members who lived in Kingman in 1976 and relating family ties to the capsule."

Snelling's sister, Debbie, was a second-grader who wrote a letter now in the time capsule.

"I love my country so so much, the streets and sounds.

But sometimes I do not like the smells even if I like my country," she wrote.

First-grader Peggy Glennon seemed to understand how much a tree would grow.

There were no trees on the site at the time the school safe was placed in the capsule.

Today, the city places Christmas lights on the tree and needs a boom truck.

"When the time capsule is unburied, the tree we planted will be really big.

It will be bigger than the houses," she wrote in 1976.

The plaque on the time capsule carries the design of Julie McDevitt, winner of a contest sponsored in local schools by the City Council.

McDevitt is a grand niece of an early area educator, Nell Hand.

The plaque and the sundial on top of the capsule were copper like that at the Duval Mine.

Local business people donated money to pay the costs.

Greg Payne, son of Mohave County Assessor Bev Payne, designed the monument.

City employee Bill Brown did much of the actual construction.

Thirty items were placed in the safe to be sealed in the capsule.

Snelling said the items had to be small and the students spent a lot of time discussing what should be included.

They included a lot of printed materials, letters, tape recordings and a school newspaper.

McVey was team teaching with Chuck Snelling's mother, Barbara Pike who is still teaching in Kingman.

"We lived the time capsule project for more than a year at Palo Christi, McVey said.

"It was a year out of my life and a year of special memories."

The school had 480 students and 25 teachers at that time.

They had moved to a new school at Palo Christi about 12 years before when the Little Red Schoolhouse on Fourth Street became too small.

One of McVey's great disappointments was the disappearance of the bell from the old school, now housing the city court.

The city assumed responsibility for the time capsule, as it was located at the then new city hall complex at 310 Fourth Street.

The city had moved from the Negus Building on Beale St.

now occupied by Mohave County government offices.

Chuck Snelling, his wife, Kim, and their three children, Sarah, Kaitline and Debbie, share a special place in Kingman's history with Madeline McVey, all the students at Palo Christi School and hundreds of Kingman residents.

Snelling wants his children and grandchildren to be in Kingman when the time capsule he helped create is opened in 2076.

"It will be those who have long time family ties to people who still live in Kingman who will be most interested in the time capsule when it is opened," he said.

"They may not pay much attention if they have moved to New York."

McVey said, "The students at Palo Chirsti School helped create a special time capsule for the Bicentennial that, with the help of many people in Kingman, will still be here to open in 2076."

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