What would Huntsville residents in 40 years want to know about our town today?
Perhaps they’d like to know what businesses were on Main Street.
Or what living through a pandemic was like in Huntsville.
Maybe they’d like to know what kids did for fun. And adults, too!
Or what the view from the Lookout or the swing bridge or your favourite place looked like.
The Downtown Huntsville BIA wants to give Huntsville residents of 2061 a snapshot of what the Huntsville of today is like and they need your help.
As part of the Diggin’ Downtown construction project, the BIA wants to bring the community together to create a time capsule to be opened in 40 years.
“It’s a unique time [for it]… we’re digging huge holes in our main street, it just seems fitting to put something in the ground for our community to celebrate now and in 40 years,” says Morgan Richter, BIA manager, adding that they’ve asked the construction crew to let them know if they unearth interesting items from the past in the course of their work. They haven’t yet, “but knowing that we have a curiosity about what could be in the ground now, it would be pretty cool to see something come out in 40 years.”
All of the items will be placed in a barrel donated by Algonquin Outfitters (AO)—fittingly, the company will be celebrating its 100th anniversary at that time—that will be buried in Kent Park at the corner of Brunel and Main. The BIA will add an additional barrel if the community response warrants it.
AO is excited to be part of the project, and will be contributing their own memorabilia to the time capsule. “It’s Algonquin Outfitters’ 60th anniversary. Family-owned, three generations now,” says AO marketing director, Randy Mitson. Perhaps the next generation of the Swift family will be there to crack open the capsule and see what their forebears included.
And you can participate, too.
“The more the merrier,” says Richter. She’s hoping community members will choose to contribute a wide variety of items.
To participate, gather together some small items—no bigger than will fit in a large Ziploc bag—like personal artwork, maps, ephemera from community events, photos of the downtown construction or other images from 2021 Huntsville, items that represent life during a pandemic, or things that represent local businesses, service clubs, and other local groups.
While this isn’t a formal “heritage” time capsule, the items don’t have to be limited to 2021. Have a small item or photo from your childhood in Huntsville that you want to include? Or something that represents your family’s history here? Or maybe you want to express your hopes for what Huntsville will be like in 2061? It’s all welcome.
Once you’ve gathered your items, seal them inside a Ziploc bag with a note that includes your name and contact information—the BIA may need to reach out to you about your contribution, and there will be opportunities to participate in videos documenting the process. Then drop your bag off at BeaverTails (69 Main St. E), The Great Vine (36 Main St. E), or Pharmasave (29 Main St. E) before August 25, 2021.
“It’s a fun initiative in downtown Huntsville that brings our community together,” says Richter.
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