A public workshop to answer questions of Mason residents over the city’s time capsule project was held Nov. 2 at the Mason Area Historical Museum.
The meeting was led by Alissa Day, vice president of the Mason Area Historical Society, who covered general instructions and submission ideas for the time capsule. The project, which is a part of Mason’s sesquicentennial celebration put on by the Mason 150 Committee, is accepting submissions until Dec. 1.
Day said that the committee is hoping to include “things that kind of give you a snapshot of what it was like to live in 2015.” Residents are encouraged to include items that describe our world today, such as “prices of things, what’s popular and what is going on in the news.”
Requirements for the time capsule include that all submissions must be accompanied by a form detailing the life of the one submitting the item and that all documents, letters and items must fit into an envelope that is 4 inches by 9.5 inches. The submission form can be found on the City of Mason website.
Questions about whether digital technologies, such as flash drives, would still be relevant when the capsule is opened in 25 years were raised, but executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce and Mason 150 Committee Member Doug Klein assured residents that these technologies would still be usable in the future.
“A lot of people are afraid if they put a flash drive in that they won’t be able to read it,” Klein said. “If we can still play vinyl records, we can still have a flash drive. It’s not really that difficult.”
The capsule will be sealed on Dec. 21 and will be on display in the atrium of city hall until 2040. The previous time capsule, which was retrieved on June 26, was buried in the lawn in front of Mason’s 55th District Court, but suffered substantial water damage from being buried too close to the sprinkler system.
In an increasingly digitized world, Day said one goal of the project is to ensure Mason’s history is preserved.
“One of the biggest problems we have is that people aren’t preserving history,” Day said. “They don’t hand write letters or print them out, they just text or send emails, so there’s no paper trail of any of this stuff.”
Another hope is that the time capsule will help pass down stories or memories of residents’ loved ones.
Day said that with the previous time capsule, “One lady wrote a letter about remembering her husband flying in a B-52 bomber over the courthouse. This was her memory from like World War II era that she wrote down so that her kids and grand kids could remember it.”
Although Klein is unsure what he will put in the capsule, he anticipates that whatever is included will help depict a Mason that will be much different in 25 years than it is today.
“The business community looks really different pretty much every year now because of the growth of Mason, and we are expecting that 25 years from now it will be even bigger,” Klein said. “It will be interesting to see 25 years from now whether it bears any resemblance to the community it is now.”