Southold Town's Mike Eckhardt and Rusty Ackroyd centered the time capsule marker Tuesday morning.
Southold Town’s Mike Eckhardt and Rusty Ackroyd leveled the time capsule marker Tuesday morning.

Yesterday morning four men met on the sidewalk in Southold on the edge of Silversmith’s Corner. Two of them worked together in the town’s public works department and they arrived together in a van filled with the tools that people who fix everything use. One was a composer from New Suffolk. And the fourth was from a family of monument builders who etch loving words in granite and then set them in the ground, usually over the remains of the recently-dead.


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But their task Tuesday morning was not about death. In fact, it was very much about life. Their task was to bury a memory of 2015 in a time capsule for the people of 2040 to open up and remind them of all that will have changed over the next 25 years.

I didn’t think 25 years was a long time until I awoke this morning and everyone on the TV was talking about how today is Back to the Future day, the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown, way back in 1985, decided would be their time-traveling DeLorean’s destination in the future.

1985 was 30 years ago. And so much has changed.


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This evening, politicians gathered around the memorial stone and read proclamations. In 25 years they will do it again. After all, it was on this date, way back in 1640, that Southold’s founders first brought their families to these shores.

But only Rusty Ackroyd and Mike Eckhardt, George Cork Maul and John Warner and this unnamed would-be journalist will remember what it was to seal 2015 in a vault and wait to see how it all turns out.

Prelude for the Site of the Time Capsule


Whereas the predecessors of the current inhabitants of Southold on this day in 1640 procured all the tract of land lying between and bounded on the west with the river called, in English tongue, the Weeding Creek, bounded on the east by Plum Island, bounded on the North by the Sound, also called the North Sea, and bounded on the south by an arm of the sea which runeth up between Southampton and this place, calling it Southold after its mother town of Southwold, England,

Whereas 375 years have passed since the October day of this town’s founding, in which time the founding families of the Youngs, Hallocks, Hortons, Budds, Conklins, Wells, Tuthills, Purriers, Terrys, Corwins, Ackerlys, Coreys, Arnolds and Haines have multiplied, scattered and spread this town’s values both near and far from these shores,

Whereas we, the current stewards of this land, immersed in the struggles of the day, have not quite the vision to see 25 years into the future, though we wish we might and strive to do so,

Whereas, upon the opening of this time capsule in the year 2040, 400 years will have passed since the founding of this town.

We say hello to you, the people of the town of Southold of the year 2040.

We hope we did a good job passing stewardship of this land on to you.


Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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