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Schuylkill's bicentennial ends Sunday

Published October 01. 2011 09:01AM

A ceremony on the grounds of the courthouse in Pottsville Sunday afternoon will mark the conclusion of the 200th anniversary celebration to mark the founding of Schuylkill County.

The bicentennial program will feature groundbreaking for a capsule containing memorabilia from boroughs and townships which will be buried on the courthouse grounds for future generations. The capsule was donated by Ringtown Wilbert Vaults, Inc.

This will be followed by an open house at the courthouse building whereby the public can tour the various "row" offices and courtrooms.

The bicentennial program will open at 2 p.m. with the presentation of colors by a Vietnam Veterans Color Guard, followed by singing of the national anthem by Paul Kennedy and Jenna McBreen. The pledge of allegiance will be held led county treasurer Jackie McGovern, who is also treasurer of the bicentennial steering committee.

Welcoming the public will be County Judge Charles M. Miller while the introduction of dignitaries will be by Register of Wills Michael McCord, who is also the bicentennial steering committee co-chairman.

Presentation of the items to be stored in the time capsule will be made by Pat McKinney. Clerk of Courts Stephen Lukach, also a member of the bicentennial committee, will introduce the borough and township officials attending.

The ceremonial groundbreaking will be carried out by the three county commissioners - Mantura Gallagher, Frank McAndrew and Frank Staudenmeier - using ceremonial shovels for the beginning of the construction of the Courthouse Commons, which will be 100 feet long, 66 feet wide at its western end and 32 feet wide at the eastern end.

The design, created by Pottsville architect Yongscheol Kim, includes several tiers of leveled platforms that will be 16 inches high and 16 inches deep that include commemorative bricks bearing the names of individuals who donated $100 per brick. Also to be included is a design of the county seal and a map of the county. According to McCord, the commons is designed to be a lasting memorial of the 200th anniversary of the county.

Closing remarks will be made by Gary Bender, the county's grant writer and co-chairman of the bicentennial committee. This will be followed by a self-guided tours of the courthouse building.

A cocktail reception will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Greystone Restaurant, a block from the courthouse. The Schuylkill County Historical Society will be open to visitors from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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