Photo courtesy of the City of Federal Way                                Mayor Jim Ferrell stands next to the city’s time capsule, set to be buried in November.

Photo courtesy of the City of Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell stands next to the city’s time capsule, set to be buried in November.

Federal Way time capsule set to open in 2050

Residents, community groups encouraged to contribute artifacts before capsule is buried for 30 years.

A time capsule of local artifacts will soon be buried within the city for future Federal Wayans of 2050 to discover.

The City of Federal Way will be filling the time capsule with your artifacts during the month of October, leading up to the capsule closing ceremony at noon Friday, Nov. 6, at the Performing Arts and Event Center (PAEC).

The year 2020, as tumultuous as it’s been, is an iconic year as the city’s 30th anniversary, Mayor Jim Ferrell said. He developed the idea for a time capsule to capture and preserve historical moments of the city, while looking forward to the next 30 years when the capsule is opened in 2050.

“I try to capture historic moments in our community,” he said, noting a series of photographs hanging in City Hall and his office deemed “wall-worthy” moments, such as the groundbreaking of the PAEC, the grand opening of Town Square Park, and the installation of the city’s flagpole.

“We’re in the process of making great history for our city,” he said. “What I love about the government is that it’s not just about serving and handling needs of today. It’s plotting a course for tomorrow.”

The city celebrated its 30th birthday on Feb. 28 this year. Ferrell said the milestone has prompted him to envision building a future for the next generation and planning for Federal Way’s future on the 60th anniversary or beyond.

How is the community going to look? What will the future Federal Way community be working on?

“It’s a fun and important conversation to have,” he said.

The cement vault time capsule is 5 feet long and 22.5 inches deep. It will be buried in Town Square Park, although the exact location will not be disclosed. Each artifact included will be sealed and weather-proofed in order to withstand the elements underground for the next three decades.

In total, the time capsule project cost about $5,000 of the general fund, Ferrell said.

“In a sense, we’re all time travelers, we just do it one day at a time,” Ferrell said. “What this will be able to do — once we gather the artifacts and representation of who we are today and who our city is — it’ll be a message to the next generation 30 years from now.”

So far, contributions will be collected from the city, various local and national newspapers, Federal Way Public Schools, the Federal Way Historical Society, various cultural communities in Federal Way and more.

Artifacts held inside for safekeeping may include photographs, various local and national newspapers, the city’s Juneteenth and Pride flags that were both flown for the first time last June, and more.

“With COVID-19, social injustices and all of the things that have happened this year, I do think that it’s important for us to take time to appreciate where we are today and where we want to be in 30 years,” Ferrell said.

How to contribute

The city is looking for artifact contributions and suggestions from the community. If you have questions about the capsule or would like to contribute an item, email or call the Mayor’s Office at 253-835-2402.

The lobby to City Hall remains closed due to COVID restrictions, but people can call and make an appointment to drop off items.

The socially-distanced time capsule closing ceremony will be held at noon Nov. 6 at the Performing Arts and Event Center (31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S.) in Federal Way.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Owners arrested after 5 neglected dogs found in Federal Way trailer

The dogs were malnourished and water-deprived when brought to the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County for care.

QA: Federal Way City Council Position 2 candidates

Incumbent Greg Baruso is challenged by newcomer Erica Norton.

Carpenters union members peacefully strike on Sept. 16 in downtown Bellevue (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Carpenters union strike on pause after “illegal picketing activity”

Union spokesperson claims wildcat protestors harrassed and threatened violence.

File photo
Uber driver carjacked in Federal Way | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log Sept. 16-22.

Federal Way Mirror Female Athlete of the Week for Sept. 24: Camelia Bryant

Decatur senior is a four-year letter winner in the Decatur girls golf program.

Federal Way Mirror Male Athlete of the Week for Sept. 24: Andy Kim

DHS senior Andy Kim and his doubles teammate are undefeated in first six NPSL dual matches.

Peter Rogoff to step down as Sound Transit CEO in 2022

Became CEO in 2016; search for replacement to begin

File photo/Sound Publishing
Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1

Shoppers will have the choice to pay for a reusable plastic or recycled paper bag.

Police lights
Man in his 70s hit, killed by driver

The suspect driver fled the scene on Sept. 22.

Most Read