Douglas County's Centennial Time Capsule
Just what is buried in the old courthouse grounds?
Time capsules entered the American culture and became popular ways to reach out to folks in the future by setting aside photos, documents, objects and recordings around 1939. The idea for time capsules originated with the president of Atlanta's Oglethorpe University in 1936, and his Crypt of Civilization is Georgia's best known time capsule. I've written about it here.
Schools use time capsules as ways to encourage future reunions. The Powaqqatsi Time Capsule is located at Holcomb Bridge Middle School in Alpharetta while Frey Middle School used their new building in 1997 to seal a time capsule. Both are scheduled to be opened in 2012. Oglethorpe County, the City of Winder and Mount Nebo Baptist Church in Atlanta all have time capsules to be opened at points in the future.
The City of Douglasville also has a time capsule. Using the occasion of the county's centennial various objects were buried and will be shared with county residents during Douglas County's bi-centennial in 2070.
The picture posted here shows the marker located on the front grounds of the "Old" Douglas County Courthouse on Broad Street. The marker states:
"This plaque designates the location of a time capsule depicting life in Douglas County in the year 1970, the county's 100th anniversary.
Buried: October 17, 1970.
To be opened: October 17, 2010.
By: Sheriff or his counterpart with contents delivered to the local governing authority of that day for the people of Douglas County.
Centennial Committee: K.B. Fincher, Chairman; James H. Haddle, Sr., Vice Chairman; Nell Wright, Secretary; James Slaughter, Treasurer
Chairman of Capsule Committee: Lorene F. Walton; County Historian: Fannie Mae Davis; Board of Commissioners: Herschel T. Bomar, Raymond E. Strickland, and William S. Baggett."
More than 100 items are buried inside a steel drum built by Seminole Foundry, Inc. located in Lithia Springs. The drum is coated with polysulfide sealant. In the book Douglas County, Georgia From Indian Trail to I-20 written by former county historian, Fannie Mae Davis, she states the sealant was the same material used to protect fuel tanks in planes manufactured at Lockheed. Items were chosen to give the people living in Douglas County in the year 2070 a "view of the life and culture of Douglas County in 1970."
Once all of the items had been placed in the steel drum the air was removed and replaced with nitrogen gas. The drum was buried on the east grounds "encased in a concrete shell approximately six inches thick" on Oct. 27, 1970 at 11 a.m.
I'm not sure about you, but I will be 108 years old in 2070, and IF I'm still here I doubt I will realize anything has been removed from the Douglas County time capsule. Luckily Davis published a list in her book. It is just an inventory type list, and it doesn't list all 100 items, but it's better than not knowing. I'm assuming many of the items are documents and photographs. I've tried to embellish the list with more information and links where possible.
Items in the Douglas County Centennial time capsule:
1. Time Capsule List
2. Centennial License Plate
3. First Public School Building
4. Bill Arp School, 1904 (see link here)
5. Methodist Church, Douglasville, Georgia (see link here)
6. Fairplay School (see link here)
7. Sweetwater School 1895 (this school would not be the same Sweetwater Elementary located in Douglas County today)
8. Sallie Kate Cooper graduation 1901
9. 1890s Douglasville boys dresses for entertainment
10. Country Home 1900
11. Factory Shoals, August 1970
12. Program for Burial of Centennial Time Capsule
13. Douglas County Pastors – November 1969
14. Lottie Quillan Roberts (She would have been four years old when the county was established having been born in June, 1866. Records indicate she was buried at the Douglasville City Cemetery in 1961.)
15. Journal of John M. Huey–Miscellaneous 1852 (John M. Huey was the County Surveyor and as the next entry shows he could have taught school as well–see link here)
16. Roll-call September 1854-teacher, JM Huey–Dark Corner (Dark Corner is an area of the county between Winston and Douglasville mentioned in this post)
17. Roll-call Dark Corner School 1855
18. Certificate of First County Surveyor–John M. Huey
19. Public meeting and Protest by Huey
20. Lecture "a Speech"
21. Bowden Collegiate Institution, 1858-59, Catalogues 1858, 1871 (one online source indicates this was an education institution and was located in Carroll County)
22. Dark Corner School Roll Call 1851–JM Huey
23. Letter addressed to Hon. JM Huey 1890
24. Roll Call Dark corner 1855
25. Obituary of Bro. R.I. Giles
26. Copy of deed for land sold to Baptist Church–1886 (See link here)
27. Copy of Deed for other land sold to Baptist Church–1882
28. Bill for Contribution 1878
29. Tax Record 1877
30. Tax Digest 1875 Douglas County compiled By JM Huey
31. Taxable Property, 1871-1880
33. Tax 1871, MD Watkins TC (Tax Commissioner)
34. Minutes of Commissioners Court, 1879
35. Young Vansant, County Treasurer 1875-1877 (Young Vansant, along with his two brothers were original settlers in Doulas County. He also gave the county the land that would become the county seat, Douglasville)
36. Tax Orders–1874
37. Commissioners Court for County Purposes 1879
38. Taxable Property for years 1871-1879
39. Grand Jury report 1881
40. John F. Glover, Ordinary Report 1875
41. Tax Digest 1871-1879
42. Tax Report 1879
43. Tax Report 1878
44. Certificate of Eligibility (8)
45. Analytical Reports–Austell-Lithia Springs
46. History, "Campbell Spartans"
47. Douglas County Confederate Veterans
48. Map, General Sherman's advance on Atlanta (See link here )
49. Deed, 1878
50. Southern Cross of Honor recipients (The Confederate States of America's version of the Army's Medal of Honor given for valor. Metal was precious during the war so many of the awards were not minted or awarded. Honor Rolls were prepared instead with the recipient's name. The United Daughters of the Confederacy began awarding the medals after a reunion meeting in 1898. See links here and here)
51. Telegram, 1888
52. Letter from Baptist Church pastor, 1887
53. Program for Burial of Centennial Time Capsule
54. Cotton Report for 1881
55. Manual on school-Houses and Cottages
56. Ordinances for the Town- (The Weekly Star) April 15, 1884
57. Laws and Rules 1868
58. Copy of an agreement made in 1875
59. School articles for 1855
60. A profession
61. A letter 1856
62. A lecture
63. A letter to wife
64. A letter
65. A card belongs to Grover C. James
66. Advertisement for Chautauqua (see link here)
68. Land deed June 29, 1832
70. Douglas County Georgia 1870-1
71. Douglas County fair
72. Early history of Douglas County–Col. Joe James
73. Analytical Reports-Austell Lithia Springs (2)
74. The Weekly Star, issue 1881 (The Weekly Star was the local paper in Douglasville during the early days, see link here)