JEFFERSON, Texas. (KTAL/KMSS) – The history of the unique east Texas town of Jefferson will surface for future generations as community members came together Thursday afternoon to officially dedicate a time capsule project.
Outside the Marion County Courthouse that is undergoing a restoration project, people lined up to see what items were donated to be housed inside a blue, steel tube that will sit in the courthouse’s cornerstone for at least a century. Several mementos from the past were chosen which will age upwards of 200 years the next time people see them. The project has been spearheaded by County Judge Leward LaFleur.
“We’re leaving that up to future courts but I’m hoping they leave it for one hundred years,” LaFleur.
Judge LaFleur asked residents to donate anything they felt of value. In keeping with local history, an actual descendant of a Marion County Commissioner came forward with a surprise wealth of artifacts. Marcia Thomas is the great granddaughter of Commissioner Brown who was a part of the building of the courthouse in 1912. She also serves on the Marion County Historical Commission and says she used her knowledge of the area to uncover never-before-seen photos of former County Judge Richard Asbury Loomis. Along with Commissioner Era Johnson. Their names are also engraved on the cornerstone.
“From a history point of view this is what you need to do. You need to preserve that history. Investigate it, research it, and enlarge it if you can,” Thomas said.
Other items that were donated include a Krewe of Hebe Mardi Gras coin, a Bible from what is believed to be the first Jewish synagogue in northeast Texas, and a jar of honey from local honey-maker Mr. Brantley.
“He made a point to tell me that when they opened King Tut’s tomb there was honey in it and it’s the only food that never spoils,” LaFleur.
To represent the pandemic of course a mask was selected, but also a quarter dated 2020 with the picture of two bats on the tail.
LaFleur also asked people who attended the dedication ceremony to sign their names on the outside of the time capsule. Including me, leaving my signature with KTAL underneath.