Time capsules are a window into the past, a message from people who have long since passed on. Some finds are inadvertent, like the “time capsule purse” lost in 1957 that was recently found during renovations at a high school. Other finds are intentional, like the most recent one that was discovered in an old grist mill.
There was a time when grist mills were an essential part of farm life. Even into the 1940s in many small towns and rural communities these types of mills served the locals well by offering a place to process their homegrown grains into flour. The grist mill at Roslyn, Long Island, New York, was first built in 1715, and work was recently undertaken to help bring this historical building back to life when the crew found 2 notes from more than a century ago.
The notes were rolled into a half-pint glass milk bottle along with 4 coins, including a Haitian centime and another from the Civil War era. The milk bottle time capsule was hidden under the floorboards of the water-powered mill.
One of the notes was written in English by a builder who was the grandson of poet and long-time New York Evening Post editor, William Cullen Bryant. Parts of this letter were illegible due to decomposition of the paper. The other note was written in Italian by builder and inventor, Romolo Capparrelli, which read, “I am Romolo Caparelli. I worked on the grist mill… Please remember me.”
Once the restoration is complete the mill will be turned into a museum and the contents of the milk bottle time capsule put proudly on display.
See this incredible time capsule and the mill in the video below.