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VLM Time Capsule

To be opened in 50 years on Dec. 31, 2065

The time capsule is buried in the museum’s conservation garden, 12 feet from the nose of the black bear in the bronze statue.  The capsule is buried 4 feet deep approximately at the coordinates 37.06956N/76.47916W.

On December 31, 2015 in the Virginia Living Museum’s CoTime Capsule 2015nservation Garden, 12 paces from the nose of the Black Bear Statue, a time capsule was buried to be opened on Dec. 31, 2065.

Under a small tent, witnessed by sponsors, staff, members and visitors, a burial ceremony was conducted.  Led by Executive Director, Page Hayhurst and Newport News Mayor McKinley Price, the ceremony marked the 50th Anniversary DSC_0243Year of the Virginia Living Museum. Representatives from the Warwick Rotary and the Junior League (the museum’s founding institutions) were present to lower the capsule into the museum grounds.

Sealed inside this time capsule are memories of our past.  Photos and tokens of our beginnings as a grass roots organization founded by the Warwick Rotary Club and the Junior League of Hampton Roads to “stimulate knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the biological and physical world.”  Also included were resolutions from the City of Newport News that has supported us for many years, as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia, honoring the Museum’s contributions to quality of life, economic development and science education through our school partnerships and conservation programs.  A video was enclosed that captures the images and voices of Virginia Living Museum founders Harry Wason and Mary Sherwood Holt recounting stories of our humble beginnings. A preserved butterfly from the museum’s very first collections, and a dinosaur eggshell from a museum excavation in 1990.

Also included were current documents of the museum’s present.  Names of current trustees, board members, staff and volunteers.  A manifest of current animals including both exhibit animals and those used in our many educational programs.  Lists of every bird, fish, reptile and mammal. Copies of our current newsletters, brochures and membership card.  A DVD holding a video message from our Astronomy Staff with a planetarium tour and trailers from our planetarium shows.  Videos of our marketing campaign “Protect What’s Precious” and originial logo sketches of our current logo brand developed by the Howell Creative Group.

Finally, hopes for the future were buried with our time capsule.  We wonder what the next 50 years will bring?  A thumb drive was enclosed with many documents… will thumb drives still be used in 2065? A letter to our future friends of the museum, a letter from Tabb High School’s journalism students to future students of 2065 and a package of Virginia flower seeds from the museum store… perhaps a future bloom waiting to happen.


The complete list of items sealed in the time capsule included:

  1. Letter from 2015 Executive Director – Page Hayhurst
  2. 2015 List of Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors
  3. 2015 Organizational Chart
  4. 2015 list of Staff and titles
  5. 2015 list of Volunteers
  6. 2015 list of animals
  7. Teachers Guides from 2015 (K-5) (6-12)
  8. 13 History Photos (1966-2015)
  9. House Joint Resolution 2006
  10. Resolution from City of Newport News 2015
  11. Letter from Virginia Governor 2015
  12. Letter from Virginia Senator 2015
  13. DSC_0318 Letter from Tiger Times Students
  14.  VLM Fact Sheet
  15.  VLM Milestones
  16.  VLM in the Numbers
  17. Printout of Website/Facebook page
  18. Thumb Drive with documents (# 1-17)
  19. Museum Ticket and  Membership Card.
  20. Virginia Flower Seeds
  21. Scroll with signatures from 50th Anniversary Kick Off
  22. “Wild About Nature” – guide book
  23. 2 – Volunteer lapel pins (100 hour recognition)
  24. 50th Anniversary Mug
  25. 50th Anniversary Pin
  26. Coin from Newport News Mayor McKinley Price
  27. City of Newport News Pins
  28. Harris’ checkerspot butterfly from Wason Collection
  29. Maiasaura eggshell from educator excavation 1990
  30. 1977 Publication “The Star of Bethlehem” by George W. Bunton
  31. T-shirt with full VLM Graphic
  32. Tede Johnson Art (ornaments and notecards)
  33. Coloring Book by educator Lisa Wright
  34. DVD of Abbitt Planetarium and message from Astronomy Staff
  35. DVD of “Protect What’s Precious” advertising commercial
  36. DVD 50th Future Ready Campaign and History Videos
  37. DVD interview with Founders Harry Wason and Mary Sherwood Holt
  38. Va. Animal Attraction Brochure, Paws & Reflect, Corporate Membership brochure
  39. VLM Animal Pocket Naturalist Guide
  40. VLM collectable patch and postcard
  41. Daily Press Newspaper from December 27, 2015

The site will be marked with a paver and a plaque to mark the spot where the capsule was buried… waiting for 2065!

View photos of the ceremony on Facebook.