Until 2116: Tricentennial time capsule dedicated at City Hall Monday

Published 11:51 pm Monday, June 18, 2018


NATCHEZ — The letter has been signed and sealed but will not be delivered for another 98 years.

The message from Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell and from former mayor Butch Brown was placed with many other artifacts from the Natchez Tricentennial in a time capsule to be opened on the city 400th birthday in 2116.

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“This is the last page of the last chapter,” Natchez Tricentennial Director Jennifer Ogden Combs said to the hallway filled with local officials and citizens who helped make the city’s 300th birthday possible.

A variety of items, including a book filled with photographs, newspaper clippings and other articles about the city’s 300th birthday celebration were placed inside the cabinet handcrafted by local furniture maker Adam Gwin and engraver Richard Horne. A commemorative Coca-Cola bottle, Natchez Brewing Company beer bottle, T-shirts, banners, ornaments and a tricentennial license plate were also placed in the chest which was crafted to look like an old sugar chest that was typically used in the 18th and 19th centuries.

“I thank former mayor Butch Brown,” Grennell said in the small ceremony. “He worked tenaciously on the tricentennial celebration. He went all over the state bringing events and conventions to Natchez.”

Brown thanked Grennell for his continued work for the celebration after he took office. Brown also thanked the many other people who helped make the event successful.

“I really enjoyed it, and it was a lot of planning and a lot of work — not by me.”

Grennell agreed.

“The greatest assets are the people, the citizens of Natchez,” Grennell said.

Combs also said she was proud of what was accomplished during the celebration, including engaging more of the community.

The former movie producer said the event reminded her about what she likes about movie making.

“You can’t do it by yourself. You have to do it with other people” Combs said. “It took our whole community, not just me for sure.”

Patches from the Natchez Police Department and Natchez Fire Department, along with keys to the city from the office of Grennell and Brown were added to the collection of artifacts.

Before placing it in the chest, Grennell and Brown read the letter to the future Natchez mayor, wishing the city success.

“In Natchez, where the river is wide and its history runs deep, we trust the citizens of Natchez are as proud and confident of this city as we were in 2016,” Grennell recited.

After the letter was sealed and placed in the cabinet, the lid was closed and locked — not to be opened until the city’s 400th birthday on Aug. 3, 2116.

“I pray that 100 years from now —slightly less — when they celebrate 400 years of Natchez, I hope they enjoy what we enjoyed here,” Grennell said. “I pray that Natchez will do well.”