As Hempstead County Bicentennial Chair Richard Read made his remarks at Thursday's Hope Rotary Club luncheon, he wittingly said “You've got mail… on December 15, 2068” as he provided an update on the year-long celebration including the introduction of a “Hempstead Time Capsule.”

As Hempstead County Bicentennial Chair Richard Read made his remarks at Thursday’s Hope Rotary Club luncheon, he wittingly said “You’ve got mail… on December 15, 2068” as he provided an update on the year-long celebration including the introduction of a “Hempstead Time Capsule.”
The proposed Bicentennial Time Capsule will be a hermetically-sealed storage container to contain and preserve chosen materials collected during the bicentennial year in a safe and protected preservation environment, such that the time capsule container can be opened at a chosen time by future residents of the Hempstead County, according to Read.
“We seek to provide our total, fully represented Hempstead County descendants and residents with a balanced inclusive understanding of who we were, what we found important, troubling, and our goals, dreams aspirations, and our sense of community in 2018, the bicentennial year. It celebrates our Bicentennial, and our moment in the County history. It passes on to the future our personal community legacy and sense of community,” Read said.
Read, who is also the principal designer of the capsule, said that the Bicentennial Committee has created a partnership with UA-Hope to have the capsule fabricated at the college. It will be welded, inert gas conditioned, loaded and sealed at UAHT TI welding and HVAC facility, he said.
“It will utilize proper materials, inert gas immersion, low acid packaging and testable nonintrusive check on internal state of the 50-year sealed time period, using best currently known archival practices and technology,” Read said.
As for the actual contents of the container, Read told the Hope Rotary crowd that a committee of Hempstead residents will select the contents; Read did not have exact specifics on the composition of the special committee, but he said he expected that it would be formed soon.
“I would like to see as diverse and representative of all aspects of our current county community as possible,” Read said of the proposed special committee.
During the proposed 50-year storage period for the capsule, Read said “The most likely places suggested are in the interior of the County Courthouse, as a visible feature, in the current pavilion on the Courthouse property, or buried on the Courthouse property.”
Read also said the time capsule will include an unique “Mail to the Future” component, in which, “mail subscribers” may write a letter to someone in the future.
Mail, integrated with the capsule, will be on low acid paper, properly sealed, and addressed to a future recipient, Read said.
“The Time Capsule Sesquicentennial Committee will distribute the mail in 2068. Subscribers will receive a package including paper, gloves, instructions, envelope, addressing mail recipient rules, public or private options,” Read said.
“Mail, depending on subscription level, may include photographs, CD’s, advertisements, miscellaneous thin paper items, and such,” he said.
Read said that the Bicentennial Committee is sponsoring the effort and raising funds to cover costs by donation, sponsorship and "Mail to the Future" subscriptions.