Guest Column

Opening Williston’s time capsule

July 22, 2010

By Ginger Isham

Can news that is 10 years old be interesting? Yes it can! Especially when it is about hometown celebrities. See if you can guess who they are (here’s a hint: one likes skiing and two like ice cream).

When the Williston Historical Society opened its year 2000 time capsule on July 2, 2010 at the Town Band concert, these were the contents of the box:

1. Copy of the book “Thomas Chittenden’s Town” by Willard Sterne Randall and Nancy Nahra

2. 1999 Williston, Vt. Annual Report

3. Jan. 1, 2000 Time magazine Commemorative Issue

4. First 2000 edition of The Williston Historical Society Bulletin

5. Jan. 6, 2000 edition of the Williston Whistle newspaper

6. Picture of our then president, Bill Clinton

7. Williston Historical Society membership picture as well as the Williston Historical Society officer’s pictures

8. A Burlington Free Press article about the final edition of the “Peanuts” comic strip

9. Williston Town Meeting results for 2000

10. Newspaper articles about Ann Battelle’s skiing accomplishments

11. Sacagawea dollar coin

12. A Census Bureau population forecast for the next 100 years

13. Burlington Free Press articles about Ben & Jerry’s being sold to Unilever

14. Pokémon pencils

15. Williston Central School Year 2000 Yearbook

16. Year 2000 top 10 Vermont news stories, selected by the Burlington Free Press

17. News articles announcing George W. Bush’s election as president of the United States

The round top, trunk-style box used for the time capsule was built as an eighth grade challenge by the following four students at Williston Central School: Ashley Baker, Jenn Dumont, Maribeth Fonda, and Melissa Tatro. It was a pleasure to have Maribeth present for the opening.

We hope to add a few noteworthy items from 2010 to the time capsule and open it again in another 10 years. I wonder who in the Historical Society will be around at that time?

Anyone who wishes to view the contents of the time capsule or offer suggestions for 2010 additions should contact Ginger Isham at 878-4875 or, or Terry Macaig at 878-3872 or

If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of the Historical Society’s book “Thomas Chittenden’s Town,” which includes an extensive history of Vermont’s first governor and other early families in Williston, contact Isham or Macaig or stop in at the town office. The cost is $10.

By the way, did anyone notice the Thomas Chittenden statue on the green was polished recently and shined for the town’s July Fourth activities?

Other Historical Society news

The Williston Historical Society recently lost of one of its members, a talented, historical figure here in town. We extend our sympathy to his family. His name was Art Tuthill. Art lived on U.S. 2 in the former home of a son of Thomas Chittenden. For one of our past July Fourth parades, Art designed and built (with the help of friends) a small replica of Thomas Chittenden’s first home. The original had burned in 1926. The replica is still sitting in Art’s backyard and I hope someday someone will want to restore it in Art’s memory.

The Historical Society wishes to thank everyone who participated for the success of our Ice Cream Social. The proceeds will go to the Williston Community Food Shelf.

Ginger Isham is on the Williston Historical Society’s Board of Directors.