The 1901 courthouse quietly remained an everyday fixture in Ozaukee County and Port Washington until early 2001. In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone, plans were set into motion to celebrate the legacy of this majestic, old building. Its years of faithful service and its stalwart beauty needed to be re-appreciated.
Time Capsule Opening
As a part of this anniversary year’s celebration, the cornerstone was opened on May 9, 2001. County Highway Department workers toiled for hours to open the stone and eventually they found the time capsule hidden within. The next day, May 10th, the time capsule was opened and its contents saw the light of day for the first time in 100 years. The tin box, lined with copper, contained 117 items placed in it by county officials and residents 100 years ago.
The time capsule contained newspapers, paper documents from organizations and churches, business cards, 1901 stamps and coins, a small metal plaque memorializing the contractors Wurthmann and Vollmar, commemorative ribbons from the cornerstone celebration, 4 historic photographs, an original copy of Becker’s poem, speeches from the ceremony, and the script for the laying of the cornerstone ceremony. All these items appropriately reflect the people and the culture of Ozaukee County 1901.
While these items will be placed back into the cornerstone after today’s celebration, it is only fitting that our current generation also leave behind some mementos of our modern day experience as citizens of Ozaukee County. Another time capsule, reflecting this 100th anniversary celebration, will be placed near the cornerstone with the first time capsule. It will be our historic legacy to the generations yet to come.