As the sun was sinking down Patton Avenue on Friday, Sept. 18, a crowd of Ashevilleans gathered in the shade of the Vance Monument, ready to seal a 100-year time capsule into the base of the downtown structure.
Like its 118-year-old predecessor, this new time capsule contains relics that represent Asheville and its people. But unlike the 1897 capsule, this one is made of stainless steel and will, hopefully, repel water better than the original. (Though there’s a backup stored in City Hall just in case).
The previous capsule, which was unearthed on March 31 of this year, contained newspaper clippings, a Bible, school honor rolls, coins and more. The paper items were water damaged but, remarkably, in good condition. Most items from the 1897 capsule are now on display at the Western Regional Archives, 176 Riceville Road — though coins from the original capsule were placed into today’s package, to spend another 100 years entombed in the monument.
The 2015 capsule contained newspapers, bumper stickers, beer labels, beer caps, tourism guides, Xpress‘ Best of WNC guide, key chains, the names and signatures of 1,000 Asheville residents, police patches and other mementos from our present.
The City of Asheville and Buncombe County wrote a letter to future Ashevilleans, beginning, “We hope you enjoy this glimpse into our world!”
“You already know if we solved our affordable housing crisis or if we were successful in raising the wages and standard of living for all of our citizens,” the letter continues. “Our hopes and dreams for education, the environment, transit, economic development, planning, recreation, culture, human services and public safety were written as bold statements because we hoped that we would achieve them to make a better community for you.”
Following a speech by City Councilman Jan Davis, the capsule was sealed, handed off and placed under the monument’s cornerstone, where it will remain until the year 2115.
Take a look at some of the contents of the both the original and 2015 Asheville time capsules:
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