Time capsule gets a Civil War-era sendoff

Ceremony marks Lincoln’s 200th birthday, 125th anniversary of county’s creation

Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis, left, and Bill McCurry, camp commander of the Legion of the West No. 7 lift a star-covered cloth as they unveil a plaque that will cover a time capsule placed under the steps of the old Mesa County Courthouse Thursday.

About 100 people attended a ceremony commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and Mesa County’s 125th.

Held midday Thursday at the old Mesa County Courthouse at the corner of Sixth Street and Rood Avenue, the ceremony also included the official placement of a time capsule in the courthouse steps.

The time capsule will be opened in 2083.

Cmdr. Gary E. Parrott of the local chapter of the Sons of Civil War Veterans, along with his comrades, was in his dress-blue uniform.

His wife, Lori Parrott, wore a blue hoop dress and a shawl to ward off the chill of the day.

Around her neck was a broach with a black-and-white faded picture set behind glass.

“To my darling Emma,” read the inscription. It was an heirloom handed down from her great-great-aunt and depicted a child who died shortly after the Civil War. It was a gift from a husband to his grieving wife, Lori Parrott said.

Pvt. Bill Buvinger, holding the colors of the Sons of Civil War Veterans, also had a keepsake: a faded picture of his grandfather that he keeps in his wallet.

Buvinger, 77, said he was the youngest of nine children and that his father was born in 1876. The photo of his grandfather was taken when he served in the 80th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

After the War between the States ended, many veterans moved West.

“Many of the original settlers of Mesa County were Civil War veterans,” Gary Parrott said.

On a display table, just left of the courthouse steps, where a plaque was affixed Thursday to mark the spot of the sealed time capsule, was a 4-foot-long black-and-white picture. Several rows of veterans stood proudly in uniform.

The photograph was taken in almost the very same spot it occupied Thursday, long before the courthouse was built. It depicted an old high school in the background.

Gary Parrott pointed east, toward Mount Garfield, and noted that the second peak is named Mount Lincoln. Some of the schools in the Grand Valley were named after Lincoln, and U.S. Highway 6, he added, was originally named “The Grand Army of the Republic Highway,” in Lincoln’s honor.

“Even today, the memory of Abraham Lincoln lives on in Mesa County,” he said.


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