Time capsule goes down as Simonson’s goes up

Election memorabilia, U.S. Census material, marketing information and newspaper copies took a piece of 2020 underground Nov. 13 at the downtown Park Rapids construction site.

Gathering Friday for a belated groundbreaking ceremony and decennial time capsule committal at the Simonson Station Store under construction in Park Rapids are, from left, city council members Bob Wills and Liz Stone, Candy Christensen with the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Ryan Leckner, developer Arch Simonson and City Planner Andrew Mack. (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

A handful of civic leaders held a belated groundbreaking ceremony Friday at the construction site of the future Simonson car wash and station store in downtown Park Rapids.

They also brought a time capsule of local memories to bury there, while the earth is disturbed.

Although the site has already been excavated and construction is well underway, golden shovels broke dirt on the Main Avenue side of the future convenience store, approximately level with the entrance to Walgreens across the street.

City Planner Andrew Mack said a marker will be placed at the spot where the time capsule is buried, once construction is complete and the driveway behind the car wash is paved.

According to Mayor Ryan Leckner, the city tries to bury a time capsule every 10 years, with no particular date in mind to dig it up.


“The last one, 10 years ago, was on Main Street, when they redid it,” he said, suggesting that the capsule might remain buried until somebody redevelops the site 100 years from now.

“We’re excited to bring our store and our products to Park Rapids,” said Arch Simonson. “We hope that the community will embrace us and that we’ll find success here.”

Candy Christensen with the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce provided the following list of items contained within the sealed PVC pipe:

  • League of Women Voters memorabilia, including a pen, lapel button, hand wipe, brochure, list of events and services, 100th anniversary banner, forum information sign, poster, the “What we do as LWV” history, a list of ideas for the LWV’s centennial celebration, an invitation to the celebration, materials from the 2020 LWV annual meeting via Zoom and the 2019 LWV member workshop.

  • A February 2020 proclamation by the Hubbard County Board.

  • Two Park Rapids Enterprise articles about the 2020 U.S. Census, a photo of two people at the census sign on State Hwy. 34 and a “We Count Census 2020” button.

  • A 2010 Enterprise story about the previous decennial time capsule on Main Avenue and a story about electric vehicle charging, along with various 2020 editions and sport sections of the newspaper.

  • A Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber sticker, a Heartland Lakes sticker, a 2020 annual meeting flyer, a loon keychain, a 2020 Discovery Guide, a 2020 “Happy Pac” area coupon book, a picture of the Chamber’s sign, and the Chamber’s mission statement.

  • Photos of a dining tent outside the Good Life Cafe, outdoor dining at the Stacked High Deli and the Chamber’s annual meeting outdoors.

  • A Revel Brewing sticker and headband.

  • A Minnesotans for Line 3 ball cap and collar face mask and two Enbridge fishing lure keychains.

  • A Fourth of July fireworks donation receptacle.

  • An awards listing.

  • A Park Rapids Area High School 2020 commencement program.

  • Vinyl samples of business signs.

  • A Rotary mask, medallion and sticker.

  • A Park Rapids downtown walking map brochure and sculpture trail brochure.

  • Pictures of Simonson’s being built, as well as architectural drawings of the gas station, a building plan, and a picture of the old BP station on its last day.

  • A brochure from the 2020 Park Rapids school referendum.

  • An Armory Square brochure and a picture of the Armory Arts and Event Center.

  • A picture of the Aunt Belle’s mural before it was repainted this year.

  • A 2020 business directory.

  • A picture of the American Legion’s 100th birthday.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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