At least a dozen people participated Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 in the unearthing and opening of the Sulphur Springs High School Class of 2000 time capsule.
The time capsule was filled by Sulphur Springs High School Class of 2000, when the students were fifth graders at Douglas Intermediate School. It was buried on the grounds of Hopkins County Historical Society’s Heritage Park on May 18, 1993. The plan had been for the time capsule to be opened on May 18, 2020. However, due to COVID-19 and other scheduling issues, the time capsule opening was pushed back to Oct. 3, 2020, held in conjunction with the Hopkins County Historical Society’s Annual Indian Summer Day and John Chester Dutchoven Cookoff held at Heritage Park Saturday.
Classmates, teachers and friends took part in the time capsule reveal. Among the representatives of the Senior Class of 2000 were Bradley Edge, Melissa Pryor, Chris Wilson, Lyndsay Palmer, Shannon Pennington, Sara Mellady, Katy Seller Ramirez, Lauren Burchfield; and Mary Lou Foster, mother of 2000 graduate David Foster. School staff included Betty Allain, Linda Mabe and Martha Hatcher.
As the group began to gather, the SSHS Class of 2000 and their former teachers had fun trying to remember and guess what they and other had placed into the container in 1993.
The capsule had been dug up, but still had to be removed and opened. Edge and Wilson, working together managed to unbolt and pry the lid off the metal capsule, secured using bolts and a tight seal, which made it air-tight, protecting it from moisture.
Once opened, the students found a treasure trove filled with items important or meaningful to the Douglas 5th graders who composed the capsule. Among the childhood mementos were Troll dolls, baseball and basketball cards, other sports memorabilia, a class newsletter, a yearbook, photos from different school classes such as language arts, a CD soundtrack to Footloose, friendship bracelets, school t-shirts, a book featuring sports stars of the 1990s, newspaper clippings, a GI Joe action figure, a cassette tape, a VCR tape from the class, a spirit award. There was a form to subscribe to Columbia House on a plan to receive music and pictures of popular culture at a discounted rate. There were even a couple of bags of rocks, a black and white photo of Bill Clinton and even a New Testaments that had been given to a student by Gideons before school. One packet included photos of local businesses and important community buildings in the 90s, including a former grocery store, a video store, a church, old movie theater and restaurants.
In various packets were writings from students. The students wrote, designed, drew pictures, included magazine cutouts and photos explaining and illustrating of what the then Douglas students thought cities and the world would be like in 2020. Some were laminated, some bundled in sealed plastic storage bags or large manila envelopes.
Students had fun looking for the papers they and other classmates had handwritten information about themselves, including their many of their favorite: foods, things to do, people to be around; and where they envisions themselves in 2020. The students got a kick out of looking back to 1993.
Several members of the Class of 2000 videoed and took photos of the capsule opening — technology far more advanced than the students were used to in 1993. At least one classmate live-streamed the opening and discovery to the Sulphur Springs High School Class of 2000’s social media page so those classmates who were unable to attend the capsule opening could watch. The class hopes to photograph and make a list of the things found in the capsule, then post numerous photos on the class social media account.
After spending a little while reminiscing and examining the items in the capsule, the students helped package the small pieces of their history, so they can be displayed at Hopkins County Historical Society’s Museum for other classmates and interested community members to view for the next few months, then preserved for future viewing.