What would you want to see from 100 or even 200 years ago? What do you think will be interesting to people in 100 or 200 years? Will pennies or any type of cash still be in use? Will the US flag still have 50 stars? What about clothes, vehicles, means of communication, and data storage. Those were the questions we pondered in preparation for the Ayr Mount Time Capsule. Oh, and the item saved for the future has to fit in a box!
May 19, 2015 ushered in the 247th anniversary of William Kirkland’s birth in Ayr, Scotland. He paid with coins and paper notes, communicated through letters, read a book printed on paper, traveled on foot, horseback, carriage and by ship, and purchased goods for his mercantile store that took a long time to be delivered. Arriving in America in 1789, he witnessed George Washington leading as first president, serving from 1789 to 1797, a country that had just adopted the Bill of Rights, and a US flag that had 13 stars.
On William Kirkland’s birth date, Ayr Mount displayed items to be preserved in the Time Capsule. A roll of freshly minted 2015 pennies next to its earlier counterparts – a 1915 buffalo head nickel, a 1915 silver dime along with an 1815 half bust quarter. A small 15 star flag which was appropriate for the house construction date aside a 50 star flag. A cell phone. A map of Hillsborough with the land owned by Classical American Homes Preservation Trust outlined. Photos of the Kirkland family members along with many of Ayr Mount before and after its 1985 renovation. Adventures with Old Houses by Richard H. Jenrette and The Kirklands of Ayr Mount by Jean Anderson were included. Jean was on-hand for the celebration and personally signed a copy of her book.
John Blackfeather Jeffries of the Occoneechee-Saponi Tribe donated a bag of Native American tobacco and a t-shirt. Joe Crews donated several Civil War items: a brass knapsack holder, a NC sunburst button and bullets from both the Confederacy and the Union. The William Whedbee Kirkland Camp donated a cannonball fired by Kirkland’s regiment in the Civil War.
Young visitors drew pictures and wrote on their note cards for the Time Capsule. Adult visitors wrote notes and some brought photos of memories from Ayr Mount and in Hillsborough. Mayor Tom Stevens wrote a letter to the mayor of Hillsborough in 2115.
Photos and written information will continue to be gathered throughout the bicentennial year, and at the end of December the Time Capsule will be sealed tight until 2115.