News & Guide Article
Jackson, Wyoming
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Masons seal mementos in granite  Time capsule contains newspaper clippings, coins and more than 900 signatures.

Time Capsule
On Jackson’s second centennial, residents of 2114 who open a time capsule sealed in a boulder outside Jackson Hole Masonic Lodge No. 48 will find evidence of the hoopla accorded its first.

Inside a PVC tube are the signatures of more than 900 Jackson residents, a special centennial coin, a poem read at Sunday’s celebration on Town Square, a special centennial magazine and articles about the occasion published by the News&Guide, a ticket to Saturday night’s Centennial Gala, a Wyoming state quarter and letters from current Masons to the leaders of the lodge a century from now.

Because of a scheduling conflict, most of the 75 or so people who attended an elaborate Masonic ceremony consecrating the memorial didn’t get to see the capsule inserted in the stone. That privilege was reserved for the couple dozen who ate Bubba’s barbecue and visited with fellow residents for another hour until the person with the necessary epoxy arrived, said the Jackson Lodge’s Worshipful Master, McNeill Watson.

During the ceremony lodge chaplain David Clauss led prayers addressing God as the Great Architect of the Universe while people in the crowd bowed their heads and star-spangled balloons danced in the breeze. The Wyoming Grand Lodge’s Most Worshipful Grand Master Richard Lewis, of Wheatland, poured cups of corn, wine and oil on the rock to symbolize nourishment, refreshment and joy.

A dozen Masons stood behind Lewis, including Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and his brother, Jackson resident Brad Mead.

The pomp and circumstance surrounding the centennial was fun to see, Clarene Law said.

“Jackson’s always been magic,” she said.

The former Wyoming state representative arrived in Jackson on Aug. 26, 1959.

“I am eternally grateful the Lord put us here in that time,” Law said, when Jackson was “not afraid of stepping into growth.”

Law and her family — including husband Creed and son Steve Meadows — went on to own a number of historic businesses in Jackson, including the Antler Inn, which she purchased in 1962 from Moy Nethercott.

Fifty-five years ago, Law said, “I think the community realized the worth of newcomers.”

It wasn’t her first time on the lawn of the Masonic lodge. Law and many in the audience attended services there when it was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until 1962.

Grant Larson, also a former Wyoming legislator, joked that he is old enough to have participated in the 1914 vote to incorporate Jackson.

“When the vote was taken,” Larson said, “I voted in favor, all those years ago.”

The 81-year-old actually moved here in 1950 and served as a Teton County commissioner before spending 1995 to 2010 in the state Senate.

He said he hopes the next 100 years of Jackson’s history will be less contentious than the first.

“I hope the community can be remembered as a friendly community that can encompass all peoples,” Larson said, “not just the poor or the rich. We’ve had a tendency to be a little bit divided. Preserve the community, but do it in harmony.”


McNeill and Joe Insert the time capsule into the boulder

McNeill and Joe Insert the time capsule into the boulder