Town reveals contents of time capsule

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By Ethan Campbell

HILLSVILLE – An abundant number of items were added to the Carroll County Historical Society and Museum this weekend, as chronicles and pieces of local history from 50 years ago were displayed.


Citizens gathered at the entranceway of the old Carroll County Courthouse for an opening by Tom Jackson, alongside previous Carroll Drug Company owner Bill Copeland.

A time capsule was buried in 1968 to commemorate the grand re-opening of Carroll Drug. It was excavated last month.

Jackson, who now owns the former Carroll Drug building, recognized and thanked the hard work and long hours coordinated by Shelby Inscore-Puckett and the museum staff, who prepared the contents for display.

He reported that many of the items had to be ironed and carefully transferred so they didn’t suffer further damage. Unfortunately, photographs and some fragile items did not make it through the past 50 years and had disintegrated from moisture and heat damage.

Arrays of documents were retrieved from the capsule, including financial reports and directories from the Carroll County government office, as well as records of personal property, letters, newspapers, registries and other daily commodities.

Among the surviving items were Copeland’s necktie from 1968, a wooden nickel from Carroll Drug; a pair of aviator sunglasses that belonged to Della Jett; rayon and cotton labels from the Blue Ridge Woven Label Company; a report from the Town of Hillsville written in 1968; documents from business engagements from 1968 to Lone Oak Contractors and Sprague Electric Company; 1968 editions of the Galax Gazette, The Roanoke Times and The Carroll News; and a counter check from Carroll County Bank, written in 1968 to Saint Joseph Catholic Church to be paid in 2018.

“My favorite thing” said Jackson, “was that the radio station came over and recorded live the ceremony when [Copeland], Dr. [Joe] Early, and everybody else was here when they buried the capsule. That was on a reel that was put in the time capsule. When they got it out, it looked like it had melted, but there was an envelope that said ‘you can play this on any cassette recorder,’ not thinking that 50 years from now nobody would have a cassette recorder.”

Jackson also recognized life-long resident Ruthie Griggs for the countless hours she spent researching all of the local businesses and happenings in the town during the year 1968, which has been compiled to give a further understanding of life during the era of social revolution and the Civil Rights movement that took place during the late 1960s. “Ruthie is a fabulous person, and she means so much to the community,” Jackson said.

He announced that Sept. 8 will mark the reloading and reburial of the time capsule, and Jackson said that after careful inspection of the burial site, the area will be hollowed out further to allow for a larger time capsule so that as many items can be reburied as possible.

Plans are to construct a capsule that will more extensively withstand weather and other natural elements in order to more effectively preserve the contents until the time of its re-excavation 50 years from now, in 2068.

The original documents were preserved and placed into plastic sleeves before being pinned to a wall in the museum.

Inscore-Puckett confirmed that the museum offers the service of having historical documents scanned or photocopied from the originals.