Finding Aid of the Vance Memorial Time Capsule Collection, PC.7014

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Finding Aid of the Vance Memorial Time Capsule Collection, PC.7014

Abstract

On December 22, 1897, the cornerstone for a granite obelisk honoring former governor, senator, and Buncombe County native, Zebulon B. Vance, was laid at Pack Square in downtown Asheville. The cornerstone contained a time capsule. In 2008, a professional conservator determined that the monument was in need of restoration.

In 2012, the non-profit organization, 26th North Carolina Regiment, partnered with the city and the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (now the Department of Natural and Cultural Resoures) to raise restoration funds. In March 2015, with restoration work approaching, the time capsule was located and removed. Because the monument shifted over time, the time capsule was damaged. The documents it held were wet, but in remarkably good shape. The items were removed and taken to the conservation room at the Western Office of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in Oteen for preservation and treatment.

This collection contains, but is not limited to, newspapers, programs, periodicals, lists of officials and schoolchildren, and City of Asheville and Masonic publications.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Vance Monument Time Capsule Collection
Call Number
PC.7014
Creator
Unknown
Repository
Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina

Series Quick Links

  1. Collection Contents

Collection Overview

This collection contains newspapers, programs, periodicals, lists of officials and schoolchildren, and City of Asheville and Masonic publications.

Arrangement Note

Collection is arranged by type of material. Oversized items are in flat storage.

Biographical/Historical

On December 22, 1897, the cornerstone for a granite obelisk honoring former governor, Civil War colonel, U.S. Senator, and Buncombe County native, Zebulon B. Vance (1830 - 1894), was laid by the Masonic community at Pack Square in downtown Asheville, and in the cornerstone was placed a time capsule. In 2008, the city enlisted the services of a professional conservator who determined that due to natural degradation over time, the Vance Monument was in need of restoration.
In 2012, the non-profit organization, 26th North Carolina Regiment, partnered with the city and the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (now the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources) and began to raise funds for the monument's restoration. Funds received included $50,000 from the Vetust Study Club, $115,000 from Civil War re-enactors, $11,000 from the City itself, and the money raised by the 26th North Carolina Regiment. In March 2015, with restoration work approaching, the time capsule was located and removed. Because the monument had shifted over the years, the copper box used to house the items was damaged.
Asheville officials contacted the Western Regional Archives and lead archivist Heather South was on hand for the time capsule's unearthing. The documents inside (including the program from the laying of the cornerstone in 1897, newspapers, and a list of Asheville officials) were wet, but in remarkably good shape. Bound volumes, such as a Bible and a Masonic code book, didn't fare as well. The books, newspapers, programs, rosters, and four silver coins were removed from the copper box and taken to the conservation room at the Western Office of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, on Riceville Road in Oteen. The damp paper items were gently unfolded and placed on drying racks. Smaller items were later scanned in-house, and oversized items were sent to Western Carolina University. Depending on need, some documents may have received additional treatment.
Following renovations, the monument was rededicated on June 6, 2015. A new time capsule, containing items from the original copper 1897 box and new additions, was placed under the monument September 18, 2015 with plans to open it in 2115. Citizen input was solicited, and among the items selected for inclusion were stickers and coasters that reflect Asheville's many breweries, an Asheville Tourists schedule, and a citizen roll-call, signed by 1,000 people.

Contents of the Collection

Collection Contents
Box 1
BOX 1

Copper box

Box 2
BOX 2

Proceedings of Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar of the State of North Carolina
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina
Proceedings of the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons of North Carolina
Charter of the City of Asheville, ratfied March 13, 1895
Masonic Code Book (cover is separated and stored in a separate box)
Code of the City of Asheville adopted May 6, 1887
Holy Bible

Box 3
BOX 3

Program of the Laying of the Corner Stone
Newspaper clipping "Monument History"
, November 1897
, July 1897
, November 15, 1897
List of Asheville City Officials
Roll of Honor, Asheville City Schools, November 1897
List of members, Zebulon Vance Chapter, United Confederate Veterans

Oversized material
FOLDER

, December 22, 1897
, December 17, 1897
, December 18, 1897
, December 21. 1897
Muster Roll for Company F, N.C. 14th Regiment "Rough and Ready Guards," for the period of October 1, 1861 to December 31, 1861

Subject Headings

  • Vance, Zebulon Baird, 1830-1894
  • Monuments
  • Time capsules
  • Asheville (N.C.)
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by the City of Asheville in 2015.

    Processing Information

  • Initial processing by Robert Nowland, Summer, 2016.