Check back in 50 years: Bentonville time capsule dedicated at Thursday event

Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman puts a hat from the Lineworkers Rodeo into a time capsule on Thursday at the Bentonville Community Center. Bentonville is celebrating its 150th anniversary and as a part of the festivities, a time capsule was created and filled with different things from community members and city workers to be opened in 50 years. Visit nwaonline.com/photo for today's photo gallery. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Caleb Grieger)
Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman puts a hat from the Lineworkers Rodeo into a time capsule on Thursday at the Bentonville Community Center. Bentonville is celebrating its 150th anniversary and as a part of the festivities, a time capsule was created and filled with different things from community members and city workers to be opened in 50 years. Visit nwaonline.com/photo for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Caleb Grieger)


BENTONVILLE -- The city's 150th anniversary time capsule was dedicated Thursday, and now the wait to reopen it begins.

The event was part of the Fall Bentonville Connections meeting at the Community Center that drew more than 100 people. Other features of the meeting included a volunteer fair and updates on city projects.

The capsule will be opened in 50 years. It will be in a display case at City Hall, 305 S.W. A St., said Baylea Birchfield with the Planning Department's Neighborhoods Team.

Submitted items represent Bentonville today. Historical images and items were not included. Space was limited, so large items weren't allowed.

More than 20 items were put into the time capsule Thursday including things from various city departments as well as organizations, businesses and individuals.

City Clerk Kirby Romines contributed two small watercolor prints she did of the downtown water tower and Daniel Popper's "Heartland" sculpture located in Compton Gardens.

"As a Bentonville and fifth-generation Northwest Arkansas native, it's been incredible to see the growth in this community and its residents," Romines said. "I am grateful to place two of my watercolor prints of Bentonville icons in the 150th time capsule. It's an honor to represent Bentonville and its people in the year of 2023."

Other items included a miniature wooden box made to look like a shipping crate from the Bentonville History Museum with the museum's logo engraved on top and a Wall Street Journal piece about Bentonville submitted by Lourdes Peredo, Birchfield said. Nearly all the items submitted were placed in the capsule, officials said.

Joe and Nancy Leake attended the Bentonville Connections meeting and stayed for the time capsule dedication.

"I was totally surprised at the things that they put in a time capsule and impressed," Joe Leake said.

The time capsule was built and donated by Dave and Jenny Marrs of Bentonville, hosts of HGTV's "Fixer to Fabulous" show. There was no cost to the city for the time capsule, according to city officials. Dave Marrs estimated the cost at $500. Capsule dimensions are 18 inches long by 18 inches wide by 9 inches tall.

Councilman Chris Sooter was born and raised in Bentonville and has lived in the city for 47 years. He will have served 21 years on the council next month.

"The 150-year time capsule will be an interesting glimpse into what life was like in 2023 in Bentonville," he said. "In 50 years, the city could be twice the size it is now, easily, and many things will have changed, including many of the citizens living in the city."

A time capsule is a collection of objects put together to preserve the memory of a place, experience or group of people at one point in time. People often make time capsules for special public occasions and for others to open many years in the future, according to the American Library Association.

Arkansas gained statehood Sept. 15, 1836. Benton County was named for Sen. Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, who worked to achieve statehood for Arkansas, the city website states.

Bentonville was selected as county seat of Benton County upon Arkansas' acceptance as a state. The town wasn't laid out and platted until Nov. 7, 1837, according to the city. The Benton County Court heard and granted a petition for incorporation Feb. 12, 1873, according to a timeline from the city.


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