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Mennonite Centennial Time Capsule Buried & Sealed in 1974 to be Opened During Henderson 2024 Community Days

Here is where the time capsule from 1974 is buried and will be opened up on Saturday, July 13 around 7:15 P.M.

This year, at the 2024 Henderson Community Days, a time capsule buried on October 14, 1974, will be opened! This capsule, a product of the Henderson Centennial Committee’s work in 1974, was a tribute to the 100 years since the first Mennonite immigrants arrived in Henderson on October 14, 1874.

The time capsule was filled and sealed in 1974 when Henderson celebrated its Centennial. Here is an excerpt from the “Henderson Mennonites From Holland to Henderson” book describing the time capsule. 

The time capsule ceremony was directed by Dr. Harold Friesen. Helping him were four generations of his family. His father, Rev. A.W. Friesen, placed into the time capsule a Bible. Dr. Friesen presented articles of present methods and regulations concerning the medical field. His daughter, Marlene, Mrs. Lelan Thieszen, contributed a cook book containing the recipes that grandmother served. Dr. Friesen’s granddaughter, Connie Thieszen added the autographs of her fellow sixth graders. 

The time capsule was made of heavy plastic and was 12 inches in diameter and 30 inches long. It was placed underground near the State Historical Marker.

The time capsule also contains letters from any Henderson community member and letters from various public school classes and Sunday School classes describing what they thought might be of historical interest fifty years later. Other items inserted were church yearbooks, a school handbook, a commercial club book, pictures, hymn books, and church constitutions. The sealed plastic tube was inserted into an 18″ x 48″ concrete casing. The inscription on the capsule’s plaque reads – Mennonite Centennial Time capsule. Buried Oct. 14, 1974 – Open October 14, 2024.

This is the time capsule encased in concrete with the dedication plaque.

Despite the marker’s instruction to open the time capsule on October 14, 2024, the Henderson Community Days committee has decided to open it early, adding an extra layer of excitement to this year’s Community Days. This decision is in celebration of 150 years since the first Mennonites arrived in Henderson. 

This Nebraska State Historical Marker was installed in 1974 during the Henderson Mennonite Centennial and is next to the time capsule.

Come out and view this exciting event on Saturday around 7:15 p.m. after the talent show. Members of the Henderson Heritage & Tourism Committee will be in charge of digging up and opening the time capsule, which is buried beneath the Welcome to Henderson sign on the north edge of town.