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Metzger gathers items for time capsule

Centennial celebrations continue as community plans to bury items for 48 yea

METZGER - Fresh off its 100th birthday, the town of Metzger is making sure that its history is never forgotten.

Over the next few weeks a time capsule will be buried on the front lawn of Metzger Elementary School, filled with pieces of Metzger history then and now.

'To have a time capsule, something that can be opened in the future, it's good for civilization,' said Jim Long, a Metzger resident and local historian.

A founding member of the Metzger Historical Society, Long has teamed with students at the school to bury the capsule, preserving a few small pieces of Metzger's past so that people in the future will be able to appreciate them.

The time capsule is the last of the projects celebrating the Metzger Centennial, which included a parade and festival at Metzger Park in October.

The small community just north of Tigard has seen major changes in the last 100 years. Large portions have been annexed into its neighboring cities, and the construction of Washington Square and the 12-story-tall Lincoln Tower have cemented the community as a commercial and business hub in the county.

Yet Long said it is important to preserve as much of the area's small town history as it can. The trouble has been finding that history.

A devastating fire at Metzger Elementary School in 1965 destroyed much of the documented records, Long said, and because the area is unincorporated, there are few legal documents that have been preserved.

'We don't have a mayor or political jurisdiction, and there's not much history that we have,' he said.

The time capsule is a large white, stone box that is not to be opened until 2060. It will include photos of the old Metzger Elementary School burning to the ground in 1965 and copies of maps that originally plotted the town of Metzger in the early 1900s.

Students at Metzger also had the chance to include a few pieces of current history in the time capsule, including a photo of President Barack Obama, actress and singer Selena Gomez, and copies of books such as 'Twilight' and 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid.' There will be a few surprises in the time capsule too.

'We are leaving something for future generations,' Long said.

The time capsule will be buried for 48 years, Long said, which is short by time capsule standards.

A similar capsule in Banks won't be opened until 2102, but Long said with technology improving so rapidly there's no telling what the future will look like by 2060.

'Advances have been happening exponentially. Things are improving and changing so much faster than they used to. Our iPhone might be a dinosaur by 2060.'

And students currently enrolled at Metzger Elementary School would be able to come back - many of them likely grandparents by then - to take a look at the items they saved for prosperity.

'And after that we'd love for people in the future to do it again,' Long said. 'Take some of the things out, put in some new things and bury it again for 25 or 50 years.'

Long said that time capsules help to create a sense of community.

'We want to keep Metzger, Metzger,' Long said.

Plans are to bury the time capsule in early January.