Time capsule discovered in Ballston Spa - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Time capsule discovered in Ballston Spa


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 years.

"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 education."

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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