In 40 years, Huntsville residents will get a blast from the past when they open a time capsule that’s now been buried beneath Kent Park.
Instead of an X to mark the spot, a plaque of recognition will remind residents that there’s something special hidden below the surface.
“We realized there was no better time than now to bring our community together and represent Huntsville,” said Morgan Richter of the Downtown Huntsville BIA.
Earlier this year, residents, businesses, and community groups were invited to submit items to be included in the time capsule. The only requirements were that the items each fit in a small Ziploc bag and that they be representative of this time.
Algonquin Outfitters donated a food barrel in honour of their 60th anniversary. When the time capsule is opened in 2061, the local retailer will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The barrel was painted by local artists—Connor MacPherson on the barrel itself and Rebecca Morris on its lid.
“We wanted to make this a fun and joyful home-grown initiative that will be something fun to reflect on 40 years from now,” said Richter. “It was also a fun way to engage our downtown businesses and artist community.”
The time capsule was buried today by Arenes Construction, which is working on the new Kent Park.
New boulders have been placed around the new park area and pavers may be laid before construction wraps up for the year. Trees will be planted in the spring when the remaining work is completed, said Brandon Hall, civil engineering technologist with the Town of Huntsville.
Among the items in the time capsule, the BIA has included photos of the Diggin’ Downtown construction project and a kids’ hard hat.
There were some heartwarming additions, too.
A new mom submitted letters to her newborn twins in hope that they will be able to read them as adults.
Britta Gerwin painted more than 450 rocks with inspiring messages at the beginning of the pandemic and left them at locations around Muskoka to boost spirits of people in the community. When it came to the time capsule project, it was only fitting that she include some of those rocks to commemorate this time.
Several local businesses and community organizations chose to participate.
The Huntsville Skating Club was excited to be part of the initiative. “We are hoping that future generations will enjoy viewing the memorabilia we chose,” said club vice-president, Michelle Breakenridge. “We’ve included items that showed monumental moments for the club such as our 40th annual, club-hosted Skokie Skate competition and a program from our 60th anniversary celebration of our club’s skating carnivals. We also submitted pictures of our current board of directors and club coaches with their years of service.”
The All Abilities Dance Troupe and Creative Community Muskoka “are two independent community groups that create fun spaces for people of all abilities to creatively express themselves, connect with their neighbours, and build a stronger community,” noted Jennifer Jerrett, community engagement specialist at Community Living Huntsville. “We, as a proud sponsor of these groups, fully support our staff members taking the initiative to have them, and their spirit of inclusion, represented in the Diggin’ Downtown community time capsule as a vital piece of the community worthy of preservation.”
The Muskoka Lumberjacks, a local hockey team, included a laminated roster and custom pucks into the time capsule.
“We wanted to be involved in this venture to document local history with the projection of having local players from our spring team roster documented. In 40 years when this time capsule is opened, we were hoping many of the players will be proud to recall the good memories and friendships they developed over that time period participating in local elite sports,” said the team’s manager, Bryan Boshold.
Local videographer Chris Ashworth of Limelight Muskoka captured interviews of some of the participants to include as well. YourTV and Hunters Bay Radio included video and audio of newsworthy stories from the year.
“This is one of the most exciting things the BIA is doing during Diggin’ Downtown because it not only [brought]us together in a fun way but it’ll bring us all back together in 40 years,” said Richter. “It’s also a fitting time to bury a time capsule when the main core has been dug up.”
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