Imagine opening a message - crafted specifically for you – in 1982 by your mother, father, or a friend designed to capture what was on their mind three decades ago.
Now, you have the opportunity to capture the essence of 2012 and create your own unique message for future generations by taking part in the Museum of Ashe County History’s Time Capsule project.
“This the opportunity for any individual or group to gather special items to place in a capsule that will be sealed for 30 years and opened by named individuals who will have the excitement of holding in their hands tangible evidence of this time in 2012,” said Linda Payne, secretary of the Museum of Ashe County History Board of Directors.
Traditionally, a time capsule provides a “snapshot” of a specific day in history. If you are making a capsule to welcome a new baby into the family, then you would want to focus on the baby’s birth date – what was happening in the world and the baby’s family on that date?
“In just my mother’s lifetime, she went from having no electricity to the Internet,” said Payne. “A lot has happened over a very short span of time, and I think folks will be amazed at what is pulled from that safe 30 years from now.”
Capsules can capture your personality. If you’re a political junkie, include campaign buttons and literature. A golf fanatic could include golf paraphernalia.
You can choose contents that are lighthearted and funny, or serious and reflective. You set the tone.
The capsule was originally scheduled to be sealed this summer and remain unopened until 2042, but increasing interest has pushed the deadline back to MACH’s Fall Open House on Oct. 13, giving Ashe County residents more time to participate.
Small (envelope-style) capsules can be purchased for $25, with larger capsules available for $50. Capsules measure 8.5x11.5 inches, and 12x16.5 inches, respectively.
“These envelopes can be accordioned to accommodate more material and have extended flaps to allow them to be completely closed when full,” reads a press release issued by the Museum of Ashe County History.
Any item can be placed in the capsules, but be sure to include items that will survive untouched for three decades. The envelope is archivable material and will last up to 100 years. Your name must be clearly marked on the exterior of the envelope, and identification information will be placed inside and outside the envelope. You can designate anyone you wish to receive the capsule in 2042.
You can include audio tapes, autographs, badges, biographies, credit cards, diaries, photos, legal documents, Internet information, recipes, newspapers, music, blueprints, ticket stubs, sales brochures, or advertisements inside your capsule.
Perhaps you’d want to include a copy of your family tree, or the story of your birth or the birth of your child. Family photographs and photos that capture a special moment in time are also good candidates for your time capsule.
Personal recordings like letters, or audio or visual recordings could also be valuable to you or someone else 30 years from now. Grab a video camera or tape recorder and ask family members to record something for the future. Letters, legal documents, humorous items, or anything else you feel capture the era in which you live could be included.
Envelopes will be locked in the tax collector’s safe in the museum, not to be opened until 2042.
Groups, including churches, schools, and civic organizations are also welcome to participate.
The Museum of Ashe County History is located at 301 East Main Street, in Jefferson in the 1904 Courthouse. Call 846-1904 for more information.