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San Gabriel Buries Centennial Capsule

By Shel Segal

To celebrate its centennial, San Gabriel buried a time capsule was buried at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. The time capsule is to be opened in 5i5ty yfears – in  the year 2063.

Burying the time capsule was the final event of the city of San Gabriel’s centennial celebration. City officials opened a time capsule from 1963 earlier in the year.

Mary Cammarano, co-chair of the city’s centennial celebration committee, said city officials are really excited to be burying this time capsule.

“Today is a culmination of the past year,” Cammarano said. “It’s been four years of working on the centennial and highlighting every month with a certain event and asking every entity in the city to contribute something to the time capsule.”

She added a variety of items are going into the time capsule.

“Every school has donated particular items, like yearbooks, momentos, the kindergarteners have all made photos of themselves and a story about themselves,” she said. “The churches have contributed so much. The service groups have all donated items that are going in. We have shower heads and other items from the water district.”

In addition, she said the time capsule is a metal box that is 24 inches by 24 inches by 24 inches.

Dick Nichols, a former mayor of San Gabriel, was present when the 1963 time capsule was buried. Nichols said he hopes this time capsule will be buried better as the last one was in a bit of disarray when it was opened.

“It was disappointing that we found out when we buried the other one in a wooden box – like a little casket – pretty much everything in the other time capsule got ruined,” Nichols said. “Now, you can laminate it and preserve it.”

Nichols said much has changed in San Gabriel since the last time capsule was buried.

“We were kind of the auto capital of the San Gabriel Valley,” he said. “This was the center of the auto world.”

He added he thinks the Asian influence in the city is a positive one.

“I think it’s fantastic,” he said. “It brings a new revival for us. Eighty percent of new businesses are Asian owned.  That’s fantastic. It’s just hard for some of us old timers to digest it when we drive down the street.”

(Shel Segal can be reached at 
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