BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - Renovations to the Ballston Spa
School District's oldest building led to the discovery of a time capsule dating
back to 1899.
A small copper box was found behind the cornerstone of
the school building on Malta Avenue.
Joy Houle, the Executive Director of the Brookside
Museum, said the Ballston Spa School District gave her a call when they first found
the box. With Houle's help, they opened the capsule for the first time in 114
"We were really excited, because we had no idea
what we would find inside," she said.
Inside the capsule were three newspapers, a damaged
letter, a penny from 1884, another penny from 1895, and a business card for
David Thompson, the man who built the building.
"I had never heard his name before, and that's
the whole point of this," Houle said. "He wanted something to remind
the future that he existed and what he did. Now here we are remembering it 100
and something years later."
Houle said time capsules were fairly common for buildings
constructed in the 1800s and 1900s.
The newspapers inside the capsule give a glimpse into
that time period. It features advertisements for flower pots that cost five and
ten cents, "high grade underwear" for men and women, and the
newspaper itself only cost three cents.
Ballston Spa Superintendent Dr. Joseph Dragone said
the district will use these pieces as part of a teaching lesson for students.
"We tie all this in. The Brookside Museum is a
great partner with the district with all the educational programs we do there,"
he said. "The good news is these kinds of things become part of those programs.
Ballston Spa has a very, very rich history here in the village and throughout
our school community, and this is just more evidence on the emphasis on
The Brookside Museum was able to carefully remove all
of the items for proper identification and preservation.
The items will be on display during the grand re-opening
of the Malta Avenue School in September 2014.
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