Gilroy unveils 150th time capsule – Gilroy Dispatch
Gilroy’s 150th birthday celebration never went as planned, despite months of preparation. It was, as the organizers describe it, “the best party Gilroy has ever seen.”
But, a year and a half later, on September 13, he got a little start at the first face-to-face meeting of Gilroy City Council since the actual 150th anniversary date.
Gilroy’s 150th Anniversary Committee unveiled a time capsule filled with articles that represent 2020 in Gilroy, marking the 150th anniversary of its incorporation as a town on March 12, 1870. The capsule includes a street banner, copies of the map general 2040 and a county shelter – order, photos from town hall and local newspapers, among others.
It is expected to be open for Gilroy’s bicentennial, giving 2070 Gilroyans a sneak peek at 2020 Gilroy.
Gilroy artist Carol Peters, a retired art teacher at Gilroy High School and creator of the 150th anniversary winning logo, painted the capsule built by Louis Hack.
“When I was asked to design and paint the time capsule, I thought a lot about what to ‘visually say’ to give residents in 2070 an idea of what Gilroy looked like in 2020,” said writes Peters in his artist statement. “Images of what was important to our current residents, the image of Gilroy to strangers and the heart of who we are. I am 77 years old and have lived in Gilroy my entire life, so I have absorbed, lived and been an integral part of Gilroy’s story.
Each side of the capsule features iconic characters and locations from Gilroy’s history, including Old Town Hall, cowboy Casey Tibbs and his horse Warpaint, two of the founders of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Don Christopher and Val Filice, and more.
The capsule will be on display at the town hall.
“This magnificent work of art will be on display for the community to enjoy and for future generations to explore,” said committee chair Amanda Rudeen.
Rudeen thanked the committee for their work, which included city and school district representatives, business representatives and other community members.
The celebration certainly didn’t go as planned, Rudeen noted. Two events that were scheduled for mid-March 2020 had to be canceled in the short term, as the Covid-19 pandemic was only just beginning and the county had issued its first order for shelters in place.
“Looking back, it was definitely the right decision,” she said.
Rudeen said she hopes a chili readiness event between police and Gilroy firefighters can emerge in the near future, as the groundwork has already been laid.
Mayor Marie Blankley thanked the committee for their work.
“It’s lovely,” she said of the capsule. “Thank you all for doing this in memory of the 150th anniversary.”
Board member Rebeca Armendariz also thanked the committee, but said she was concerned about the “lack of diversity” in the capsule artwork.
“It looks like the committee had a good number of members and you worked really hard,” she said. “But what Gilroy looks like is not reflected there, and all of the people who have contributed to our beautiful city as well.”