Posted by Kristie Wells on January 14, 2014 in Cool Finds

In 1913, Virginia Sohlberg, President of the Ladies Aid Society, led a fundraiser where space was auctioned off inside a 100-year ‘time capsule’ in an effort to raise enough funds so her local church could purchase a new Mueller pipe organ. This project was dubbed the ‘Century Chest.’ More than 20 boxes were filled, then buried under a 12-inch slab of concrete in the basement of the First English Lutheran Church (now the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City).

On the 100-year anniversary (22 April 2013), the Century Chest was unearthed, and the contents presented to the citizens of Oklahoma City. Inside was a ladies hat, a flag of the State of Oklahoma, a book on the Constitution, Treaties and Laws of the Chickasaw Nation, a railroad map of Oklahoma, an Edison Graphophone, and so much more … including stacks of letters, notes, photos and recordings from family members in 1913 to their descendants and other relatives of 2013.

Century Chest Letters

If I were researching the Atwood family of Oklahoma City, I would be excited to come across this letter from Weston.

Atwood Letter (Page 3)

What a spectacular gift this would be to receive a letter from your great grandfather laying out your family history and also providing insights into his employment too!

A lot of my father’s side comes from the Oklahoma City area, so part of me was hoping there was a little something special in here for our family. There isn’t (I checked), so I guess I will simply live vicariously through those of you receiving these amazing gifts from the citizens of 1913.

Of course, this begs the question …

If you were going to put together a time capsule for the citizens of 2114, what you include in it, and why? 





Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's Head of Global Social Media and Online Customer Engagement and is responsible for developing and managing the company's social media and social business offerings worldwide. She works with a team of community managers, genealogists and social content developers to help educate Ancestry's existing customers, inspire new family historians and expand awareness into new social audiences and communities.

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