|From the Desk of Chief Gregory E. Pyle|
|Tuesday, 14 May 2013 00:00|
What an honor it was to participate in the opening of the Oklahoma Century Chest, which was sealed April 22, 1913, filled with books, artwork, letters, recordings and diverse memorabilia from across the state. This 3’x3’x6’ time capsule was buried in the basement of the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City in 1913 and unearthed a century later to reveal the treasures that had been carefully placed inside. This effort of putting tokens of state history into a 100-year chest showed tremendous foresight. I appreciate the long-term vision and teamwork it entailed to accomplish.
A lot of the items and letters in the pure copper chest were of Native American origin. I found it amazing that community leaders in 1913 felt it important to include Indian history and messages even though federal government had effectively disbanded Oklahoma tribal governments in 1906, one year prior to statehood.
One of the first Choctaw items to see the light of day after a 100-year rest in the airtight chest buried was a bois d’arc bow, donated by Dan Julius Folsom. As the white-gloved preservationists began lifting it out of the rectangular copper chest where it rested at the front of the church for the big “reveal,” a couple hundred of us leaned forward in our seats to get a better look.