“The church wants to share this with the state,” Williams said. “They believe it is Oklahoma's.”
Williams said the Century Chest idea was inspired by a century chest that was buried in a building wall in Colorado. He said the First Lutheran Church congregation took the basic concept and expanded it.
Williams said he has been impressed with how meticulous the Century Chest coordinators were. He said the time capsule started out originally as a fundraiser to pay for a new church organ and the project evolved into a community affair to mark the 24th anniversary of the 1889 Land Run. Eventually, it became a statewide event.
“It really inspires people because it's such a one-of-a-kind,” he said. “It's not your regular time capsule — it's the mother of all time capsules.”
Williams said the website will eventually include film footage of the opening of the time capsule. He said items from the chest will be photographed and those photographs also will be featured on the site.
Currently, a countdown clock may be viewed on the website as church members and history center officials make plans to unveil the chest's contents for the April 22 public ceremony and celebration.
Williams said he is eager for the unveiling.
“In my job as director of research, this is the most exciting project I've ever worked on just because this is pure Oklahoma history,” he said.