After a summer of living in the past, Hillsville is set to go back to the future September 8.
Four months after the time capsule was unearthed that stood guard in front of the old Carroll Drug store in Hillsville for 50 years, a new time capsule will take its place on Saturday, September 8. A ceremony to dedicate the new time capsule, set to open September 8, 2068, will be held prior to Hillsville’s Summer Nights Concert Series & Classic Car Cruise-Ins at 5:30 p.m. The time capsule will go in the same place as the original, in front of the old Carroll Drug (now A Shining Star Spa & Salon).
The original time capsule was planted by Carroll Drug Inc. on April 1, 1968 to celebrate its grand opening in a new building, exactly one year from the date the old Carroll Drug building burned. The time capsule was scheduled to be opened 50 years later on April 1, 2018, but organizers pushed the date back to May 12 since April 1 of this year fell on Easter Sunday. It was also moved back to go in conjunction with the Town of Hillsville’s Summer Nights’ series.
A month later on June 9, the contents of the time capsule were put on display to the public and have remained in an exhibit at the Carroll County Historical Society Museum. Local attorney Tom Jackson owns the building where the time capsule is located. As a member of the committee in charge of organizing the time capsule’s events, he said this past summer has been exciting and informative.
“I think it has been fascinating to get a glimpse back to 50 years ago and to understand what the community was like both in its most positive aspects and also in the problems that people were facing that they wrote about in some of the material that was in the capsule,” Jackson said. “For instance, the VFW had just burned down and their commander was saying they were trying to borrow the money and had no idea what the future was going to be like for the VFW. Well, 50 years later look how well the VFW has done, but they didn’t just get there one day. It was a struggle. And I think within the old capsule there are stories of struggle that are very interesting to look back on because you realize that things do work out for the most part if you work hard and do all you can to resolve problems.”
Jackson said the September 8 ceremony to dedicate the new time capsule should be a short one. The Hillsville High School Class of 1968 will be holding its 50th reunion in coordination with the time capsule event. Class organizers have expressed wishes to get a group picture of the reunion put in the time capsule. A registry is also available in Hillsville’s Town Hall that will be placed in the new time capsule. Interested citizens may still sign the registry until the day before the event.
Jackson said he has also asked Carroll County Middle School to have a small group of students write a one-page paper about what they think Carroll will look like in 50 years or something to give somebody 50 years from now a sense of what kids were like in 2018. He said people could still bring items to his Hillsville law office to place in the town capsule up until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 7, though he requests items at this point be limited to the size of a small, standard envelope and either be laminated or placed inside a sealed, ziplock bag.
“The good news is although this thing is not quite as big around (as the last time capsule) it is going to be about a yardstick long. It will be longer than what came out and that is a good thing,” Jackson said, noting the time capsule will be 42-inches long and six-inches in diameter. “I also really want to thank Ricky Thomas and the people at Thomas Automation Management in Hillsville. They donated the plaque for this time capsule and it looks great. I know it took quite a bit of time.”
Jackson said one thing that really struck him about the first time capsule was how proud people were of their families. There were many pictures of entire families in the 1968 time capsule.
“Just the pride I think this community has always had in the importance of family is very real in the old capsule and I hope will continue in the new capsule because that hasn’t changed for our community,” he said. “One of the things that has struck me in the old capsule was that economically there were a lot of opportunities 50 years ago that in some ways are not here now in the sense that some of the plants that were in town or that were local are no longer here. And those plants had put stories of their origin and who their employees were and all that kind of information in the capsule. Looking back at that you realize that times have changed economically and that we are still fighting the battle of trying to make things better for our community in terms of being able to live here and support a family and be successful economically.”
He said what goes in the time capsule September 8 will be a reflection of where we are now in this community. He also hopes it will be just as fascinating for people to open in 50 years as the original was to unearth this year.
“Life is always changing and when you look at the 50-year snapshot the change that you may not notice day to day is very, very visible,” Jackson said. “So I think the ability to adapt to changing times is one of the secrets to success but the time capsule process gives us a really good view of change and how people have adapted.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN