North Royalton officially turned 200 years old on Oct. 27 and to celebrate the special event and close a summer-long bicentennial celebration, Mayor Robert Stefanik gathered with members of City Council, school leaders and those in civic and service organizations to bury a time capsule.
Buried nearly two feet below ground beneath the commemorative brick patio outside the North Royalton Historical Society, the time capsule – a sturdy memorial box donated by Babitt-Busch Funeral and Crematory Services – will be unearthed in 50 years on Oct. 27, 2068, when the community celebrates its 250th birthday.
To ensure its discovery for North Royalton’s future leaders, club members and residents, officials recorded the time capsule’s GPS coordinates and marked its exact location with engraved bricks. The dedication ceremony and burial site was also noted in Historical Society records.
Location really is everything for this relic, as efforts fell flat over the summer in trying to locate a time capsule buried 50 years ago by city leaders during North Royalton’s sesquicentennial celebration.
“We’re not losing this one,” remarked Georgia Viehbeck, vice president of the North Royalton Historical Society, as attendees took turns shoveling dirt atop the time capsule.
Residents 50 years from now will get a true glimpse of the city we know today as dozens of items were placed inside the box by Mayor Stefanik and members of civic and service groups. School Board Member Heidi Dolezal placed items in the time capsule on behalf of the city schools and school board. Stefanik placed a family photo in the time capsule, along with current publications like the Royalton Recorder, North Royalton Magazine and The Plain Dealer.
Contents of the time capsule were placed in sealed plastic storage bags and also included a proclamation from the Mayor’s Office and State Rep. Tom Patton, a fact sheet and program from Saint Albert the Great Parish, menus from local restaurants, a copy of the City’s Charter and listing of City Council members by President Larry Antoskiewicz, a program book for the North Royalton Garden Club, and a Class of 2018 Commencement Program, bell and newsletter from the North Royalton Alumni Association. Association President Nick Phillips also penned a personal letter. Phillips, born in 1947, joked, “It’s like a funeral in advance,” as he placed his letter and items inside the capsule.
Other items included: a roster and newsletter from the Royalton Hills Lions Club, brochures from the Holiday Lighting Committee and the Christian Church, a roster and project listing from the Kiwanis, a pennant from the Lions Club, a booklet and engraved small hand shovel from the Community Garden. The Chamber of Commerce and the Recorder included a copy of the Recorder commemorative bicentennial edition, a proclamation from the State of Ohio honoring the Chamber for 100 of service, plus other bicentennial-related mementos.
Ward 3 and 4 Councilmen Dan Langshaw and Paul Marnecheck also placed items inside the time capsule, including a Langshaw family photo and a copy of North Royalton’s Wikipedia page by Marnecheck. Royalton Farms also donated a memento, as did the Historical Society. The final item inserted was a bible from Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church.
The time capsule was then sealed and slowly lowered into the ground by Langshaw and Marnecheck. Attendees shared a laugh as the councilmen heaved the heavy box into the ground following a slight snafu on their first attempt. Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a birthday cake donated by Giant Eagle and beverages.
Holiday Lighting member Gail Holzman attended the ceremony and noted how special it was for each club to be represented. Holzman’s North Royalton family tree dates back to the 1850s.
Attendee Eve Kolbus has lived in North Royalton for 50 years and is a member of the Royalton Hills Lions Club.
“The city has changed tremendously in that time,” she said. “My hope for the future is that residents are just as friendly as they are now.”






Contributing Writer