On the morning of Saturday, July 18, members of the community gathered to witness the opening of a time capsule that was sealed in 1988 in the garden of the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Museum. Among those present were County Mayor Bill Newman and Lynn Bailey, the son of the late Tom Bailey, who was a member of the Museum’s Board of Directors in 1988 and was present when the capsule was sealed.
Local attorney Ray Fraley spoke at the event, saying, “Time may be our mortal enemy, but it is our great healer,” going on to lionize former County Mayor Peggy Bevels, who oversaw not only the sealing of the time capsule but also the advent of the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Museum as a whole. Fraley, who was present when the time capsule was sealed, said of then and now, “I was the youngest member and have very little memory [of the event], except I remember putting that [American] flag up. And maybe I remember that because of my years in the marine corps, but on that same day in 1988 we put a time capsule [in the garden], put articles in there so that we could open it up today and say ‘well, this is the way it was,’ and maybe – I’ve always been an optimist, and I think everything is going to be better the next day – but it’s nice to see what was going on back then in our little village of Fayetteville. So, it is certain, as I quote from Timothy, that we didn’t bring anything into this Earth, and we sure aren’t going to carry anything out, but what can we leave – what can we leave behind – and that capsule will be it.”
The contents of the capsule were largely paper artifacts – articles, photos, community documents. One of the first to be picked up by Fraley was a copy of the Elk Valley Times from June 19, 1988 whose headlines read “Disaster Aid Approval” and “Lincoln Manufacturing prepares for grand opening,” but chief among the artifacts was a booklet whose cover read “Action 2020,” an apparent outline for what the then-government wanted to achieve by the year in which we currently live.
While the specifics of what the people of Fayetteville thought the future would look like are unclear, the event found another layer of significance in the demonstrating that those laying the capsule to rest pondered 2020 with the same wonder that the patrons of Saturday’s event pondered 1988.