Ritz Sauna & Shower Project Aims To Preserve OCF Culture And Memories

Jul 7, 2017

The Oregon Country Fair doesn’t just want people to have a good time…they want to seal up and bury that good time for future fairgoers to enjoy.  KLCC’s Brian Bull explains, from the site of the Ritz Sauna and Showers. 

Credit Ritz Sauna & Showers Facebook page

Ritz staff members are spearheading a time capsule project, as a way to preserve bits and pieces of the fair for education and entertainment.  Set-up manager Ray Griswold walks me over to where the capsules will be installed.

The designated space under pine floorbards where the four time capsules will be stored.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“They’re under this wood floor here, and there’s a series of metal cylinders that are embedded down into the foundation.”

Griswold says there will be four cylinders, and each one will be opened at different intervals.

“We have a 10-year, a 20-year, a 50-year, and a 100-year cylinder.  We’re putting fair mementos, photographs, probably some newspaper articles…and we’re putting everything on microfiche because that seems to be low-tech enough that they’ll always be able to read it.” 

Ray Griswold (left) and Ken Hardenbrook (right) of the Ritz Sauna & Showers team working on the time capsule project.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Ken Hardenbrook is a Ritz staffer who’s researched and assembled the steel time capsules.

“You can put things up to four inches inside.  They’re two-feet tall.   Once they’re full, I can  weld them shut, and there’ll be a no oxygen atmosphere in there.  And so they should last 100 years, no problem, it should be really fun.” 

The time capsules will be filled with Oregon Country Fair items later this year or in early 2018, before being sealed up and placed in the designated spot in the Ritz Sauna and Showers.

Hardenbrook is eager to see how it all unfolds.

“Should be amazing, I think in the future people will look at this and it’ll be the 'old days' you know, and what it was like then.  I’m pretty excited about it, I'm hoping to see the 10 and the 25, maybe!”

Bull:  100-year might be a bit of a long shot?

Hardenbrook: 50 and 100  might be a bit of a shot, I’ll be 103 in 50!” (laughs) 

Ritz organizers say while fair staffers will find things to put into the capsules, there’s no reason a fairgoer with an interesting item couldn’t take the time to contribute something. 

Copyright 2017, KLCC.