ST. STEPHEN, S.C. — Charleston District leaders gathered outside the Cooper River Rediversion Project June 16 to bury historic items that collectively capture the District’s current impact and 150-year legacy in a time capsule.
Sealed beneath engraved marble along the rediversion canal, the time capsule preserves pieces of the District’s history until the capsule is reopened by future and — current leadership hopes — some present-day staff members in March 2047, 25 years from now.
Burial of the capsule formally concludes the District’s year-long anniversary throughout 2021 celebrating 150 years as a dedicated office in South Carolina.
Officially established in 1871, Charleston District has played a critical role in the growth and prosperity of South Carolina through its vital programs and mission, including the construction of decisive defense infrastructure, modernization of the state’s harbors and waterways, and disaster response after severe storms.
“Over the last two centuries, the Charleston District team — first as an expeditionary force and later as a permanent local office — has tackled some of the state’s toughest engineering challenges,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Johannes, district commander. “Rolling out the nation’s first hydraulic dredge to widen and deepen Charleston Harbor, building facilities that would later ward off enemy fire and swiftly prepare Soldiers during World Wars I and II, and facilitating rapid development while preserving vital ecosystems are just a few examples.”
The time capsule burial also coincided with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 247th birthday. The Corps was founded on June 16, 1775, during the American Revolutionary War, just two days after the Army was established.
Among items sealed in the capsule include keys to the City of Charleston, a lock of the District’s first female commander’s hair, proclamations by the South Carolina governor and mayor of Charleston, notes on some of the District’s most significant projects, military challenge coins, a covid vaccination card, personal anecdotes from former commanders, and a letter to the District’s future senior civilian.
“Charleston District is made up of the nation’s best and brightest engineers, scientists and public servants,” said Lisa Metheney, the District’s head civilian. “I couldn’t be prouder of this team or the exemplary service they provide delivering our vital missions across the state, and globe, every day. I will always be an advocate of this District and hope I can be here in 25 years to continue cheering from the sidelines when the capsule is reopened.”
The capsule will be opened in March 2047 during the Charleston District’s 175th anniversary.