Talent celebrates 100 years Tuesday

TALENT — The city will celebrate its 100th birthday Tuesday by dedicating a centennial clock and a red oak tree, and burying two time capsules to be opened in 25 and 50 years.

Talent was incorporated on Nov. 2, 1910.

Festivities begin at 3:30 p.m. in front of City Hall in Depot Park on Main Street. Mayor Don Steyskal will make opening remarks, followed by dedication of the clock and burial of the time capsules.

"I'll be 97 years old when the 50-year time capsule is opened up. My daughter is going to remember it. She's 12," said Centennial Committee Chairman Greg Goebelt.

Suspended in a 14-foot-high arch, the double-faced, illuminated, circular clock will be visible from both City Hall and Main Street. Talent's Urban Renewal Agency purchased the clock, arch and time capsules and has paid for materials and installation of the base and capsule burial site. A monument bolder will be installed later.

"The clock seemed like a nice combination between traditional and a little more modern. It's a gift from Urban Renewal," said Marla Cates, agency director. Most clocks the agency looked at had Victorian styling.

The time capsules, 16-by-16-inch cylinders, are specifically constructed for burial. City officials have accepted donations of artifacts.

"I'll put in a voter's pamphlet. They can see all the issues and all the candidates that are running in 2010," said Suzanne Heinrich, assistant city recorder. Other items include centennial memorabilia, a video of this year's Harvest Festival, recent photos, literature and a cell phone.

At 4:15 p.m., activities move to the west side of the nearby library, where a 20-foot-tall red oak will be dedicated. The tree, which can grow to 80 feet, was selected by the public during the Harvest Festival and donated by local real-estate broker Jack Latvala. A commemorative stone will be placed at its base.

Cider and socializing will follow at 4:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Ashland clothing historian Ann Wilton and her husband will wear period clothing from the time of the city's founding. Wilton will donate a hat worn by A.P. Talent, for whom the town is named, to the city. Weather permitting, Dick Croly will bring his 1910 REO Touring car to the event.

Tuesday's celebration caps a series of monthly events that began in February, including the annual Harvest Festival and parade, raising of a centennial flag, creation of a community quilt and a silent film festival.

Centennial organizers made a wish list for the year, said Goebelt, and community groups, businesses and citizens stepped up and made them happen.

"It's definitely a barn-building community," said Goebelt. "It was all done by citizens who wanted to get together and do things." A "100 Trees for Talent" campaign has exceeded its goal, said Sharon Anderson, a member of the city's Together for Talent Committee, which sponsored the project.

"Some of the trees were actually donated by people who can't plant a tree on their own property," said Anderson.

Plantings included 40 trees in Chuck Roberts Park, more than 200 seedlings along the Bear Creek Greenway and others installed by residents. The campaign is now focused on businesses, which can get a tree planted for $100 by Plant Oregon, said Anderson.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboom8929@charter.net.

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