ROUND LAKE BEACH – While others picnicked July 4, 1976 – the nation’s bicentennial, Chuck Mleko had a job to do: Take part in the burying of a time capsule that was to be unearthed in a century.
But a few years ago, the village dug up the capsule, which is now sitting in one of the public works department’s storage buildings.
In 1976, Mleko was chairman of the local bicentennial committee. At the time, a local plumbing company created the metal container for the capsule and another firm donated the headstone. A few dozen attended with some filling in the hole around the capsule. It was near the old village hall at Clarendon Drive and Cedar Lake Road.
Now 69, Mleko wants to know when the city plans to rebury the capsule, which he said contains old newspapers, photos and letters.
“I have called many times and can’t get a straight answer,” he said in an email to Lake County Suburban Life.
“The water tower was there,” he said. “They did some construction on a building, so they had to take out the capsule. It’s been at public works ever since. I haven’t been able to get a definitive answer about when they’re going to rebury it.
“After three or four years, I’m tired of it. I don’t think it should be sitting in the corner of a public works building. It’s part of the village’s history. How much do they think of the village’s history?”
Gary Gramhofer, public works director for Round Lake Beach, said the capsule was removed when the Lake County Health Department took ownership of the old village hall building, which the agency expanded
“I haven’t talked with Chuck,” Gramhofer said. “He has been talking with some other village official. We’re looking at burying it in the next couple of weeks. We want to find a good location, and we want to make sure it’s permanent. Every time we find a location, we find out about a major renovation that’s going to happen there. We’ve been storing the capsule to keep it intact and safe.”
Former Mayor Carl Schrimpf, 84, was also at the gathering in 1976. He suggested burying the capsule in the veterans park across the street.
“I think it’ll stay a park,” he said.
Mleko had another idea: Bury the capsule in front of the flagpoles at the current village hall.
If the capsule is reburied, it is set to be unearthed in 2076, 62 years from now.