The rains dried up and the sun came out just in time for Grayson Lake's 50th Anniversary celebration last Saturday.
Though the ground on the dam was still too soggy to put the vault with the time capsule into the ground, explained Senior Ranger Andrew J. Hermann, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that just meant that the Corps would continue to accept items for inclusion in the vault until conditions were right for burying it.
The Corps, along with Fish and Wildlife representatives, Grayson Lake State Park employees, representatives of the Grayson Tourism Commission and others had displays on hand where they provided booklets, gifts and information to children and their parents on wildlife, forest management, water safety, and outdoors recreation.
The event also featured bouncy houses, entertainment and free food and refreshments.
Local and state officials shared their connection to the lake and the importance it has had in our community over the past 50 years. Both State Representative Jill York, for example, and State Senator Robin Webb noted they had family who gave up their land so that the lake could be established.
York said she was a very young girl, but that she had memories of phone calls coming to her home because the barricades along Route 1 and Route 7 had been removed by locals using the quicker routes before they could be completed.
“Once it was cut,” York said, “the locals used it, even without blacktop.”
Since then, she said, “that road has brought hundreds and thousands of visitors up here.”
Webb said that she had family in both Elliott and Carter County who gave up their homesteads for the lake, though her legacy is inexorably tied to Camp Webb, the conservation camp on the lake named in honor of her father.
She said she was there today to honor her father and all those who worked to create the reservoir for flood control and recreation.
“I was literally raised on the banks of this lake,” Webb said, noting the community of folks who spent their summers there on boats and on the banks of the lake.
Webb also contributed a copy of the telegram her father received, acknowledging that funding for the lake had been obtained, for the time capsule to be opened in 2068.