Bay County Historical Society Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule
  It is our intention to create a time capsule by gathering a collection of items informed by the culture and circumstances of the 21st Century, representing the daily life of the Bay County Historical Society, local businesses, organizations and community members for the future historians and patrons of 2069 to discover and share.  A key part of this goal is to gather the personal stories of our community members and we would like YOUR story to be included!  To assist patrons in sharing their story we have created a pre-set series of prompts in a format we are calling a ‘Letter For Tomorrow’. 

  We invite you to visit the Museum to purchase a ‘Letter For Tomorrow’ to fill-out so that a snap shot of your life can be shared with future Bay County residents.  There are two versions of the letter available:   a personal/family letter is $5.00 and a business/organization version is $10.00. All proceeds raised from the letters will be put toward the Museums endowment to help ensure another 100 years of success. (Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information


The Idea behind our Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule:

 Time capsules are generally planned and put together to share specific information, cultural characteristics, or a message about the current time in which the creators of the capsule lived. Many time capsules are filled with artifacts (3-D objects) that are either already represented in local museum collections or that tell very little about the people of the time.  Either way, they are usually of limited value to future historians. 

 In September of 2015 the Bay County Historical Society dug up and opened a time capsule bequeathed to it by the members of the Bay County Labor Council.  Called the John F. Kennedy Peace Capsule it was designed and put together by the Labor Council to celebrate Bay City’s centennial in 1965, it contained many items of the day as well as items from the past representing 1865.  Among the items discovered were ‘Letters To Tomorrow’; these letters were purchased and completed by members of the community.  

 The significant value behind the ‘Letters To Tomorrow’ found in the John F. Kennedy Peace Capsule lies in the unique stories and personal perspectives, hopes, fears and dreams shared by community members in 1965. Five decades later, it is the intention of BCHS to create  a similar collection, informed by the culture and circumstances of the 21st Century,  representing the daily life of the Bay County Historical Society, local businesses, organizations, and community members for the future historians and patrons of 2069 to discover and share.


Letters For Tomorrow (LFT) - FAQs

What is a ‘Letter For Tomorrow’ (LFT)?

‘Letters For Tomorrow’ are a pre-constructed format with prompts that will help you tell our future community residents about you, your family, and/or your business or organization.  They were inspired by the ‘Letters To Tomorrow’ found in the JFK Peace Capsule created in 1965 and unearthed in 2015. For more information on these letters visit the museum.

What will you do with my LFT?

Letters For Tomorrow’ will be gathered and placed in the BCHS Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule on May 11, 2019.  They will remain sealed in the time capsule until the date of its opening, 50 years in the future (May of 2069).  After the capsule is opened, the LFTs are intended to be entered into the museum’s collection for future preservation and education about our time.

Who can purchase and fill out a ‘Letter For Tomorrow’?

ANYONE! An individual, a family, a small business, a large business, a corporate office that operates locally, a non-profit organization, service clubs, ‘fun’ clubs, volunteer clubs, special interest groups and committees, churches and other religious organizations, etc.

Do I have to live in Bay County to fill out a Letter For Tomorrow?

As long as you engage in the Bay County community, you are welcome and invited to complete a LFT.    If you live, work, volunteer, or spend time in Bay County, own a business or do business in Bay County, engage in an organization that operates in or serves Bay County, or otherwise participate in the community of Bay County at this time or have done so in the past, you can contribute your story via a ‘Letter for Tomorrow’.

What if I am an out of town visitor to the Museum?

Our patrons from far and wide are certainly a part of the day-to-day life of the Bay County Historical Society / Historical Museum of Bay County that we would like to record for inclusion in the BCHS Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule.  Visitors are welcome to fill out a Visitor Card (on the podium in the 1st floor hall) to provide us with a record of their visit. These cards can be deposited in the small black framed shadow box on the wall above the podium.  These cards will be included in the Time Capsule as a record of our museum visitors during our centennial year.

Where do I go to purchase a ‘Letter For Tomorrow’?

‘Letters For Tomorrow’ are only available at the Bay County Historical Society / Historical Museum of Bay County, 321 Washington Ave.

How can I purchase a letter if I can’t make it to the museum?

You may contact the Historical Society by phone or mail and pay by credit card or check.  Your letter/s will then be sent to you by mail to complete.  You can then return them by mail if you wish.

How much is a ‘Letter For Tomorrow’ and what is the money being raised for?

$5 for Personal/ Family Letter; $10 for Business/Organization Letter.  The money raised through these contributions will be added to our endowment fund to ensure another 100 years of successful operation.




You are Invited to Participate: 

We invite our visitors to take time to fill out a Visitor Card found on the first floor near our Centennial Capsule exhibit. The cards will be collected and placed in the capsule on May 11, 2019, and will give a view of the patronage of the Historical Museum of Bay County to the future historians and patrons of 2069.

The Original "Letters To Tomorrow": 

 Although most of the materials retrieved from the JFK Peace Capsule were compromised due to a large amount of water infiltration during its time below ground, the original ‘Letters To Tomorrow’ were found and an attempt to save them has been ongoing.  To learn more about the process of rescuing the information contained in the original letters please visit the Museum’s Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule exhibit.



Do I have to fill out my letter/s at the Museum at the time of purchase?

No.  You are welcome to take purchased letters home to be thoughtfully completed.  You may return completed letters at any time.  The last day letters will be accepted for placement in the BCHS Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule is May 11, 2019, the day the capsule will be sealed.

Do I have to fill out every prompt in the ‘Letter For Tomorrow’?

Only fill out what you wish to share with our future community members. Conversely, if you would like to share more than the Letters provide room for, you are welcome to include additional pieces of paper within the letter. (See next question below)

Can I include a photograph, drawing, ad, brochure etc. in my LFT?

Absolutely!  We welcome the inclusion of materials that help add richness to the story of your family, business or organization. Completed Letters will be closed with mailing seals, similar to what are used on small catalogs sent through the mail.  This means that patrons are able and welcome to include any additional items that will fit within the dimensions of a closed letter (approx. 5 ½” x 8 ½”).  We ask that no delicate/breakable objects or organic elements such as pressed flowers, a lock of hair, food or other consumable items be included in order to ensure personal safety and the integrity of the preservation-minded environment.  We also ask that letters are able to close relatively flat (depth maximum of ½”) in order to allow space for all time capsule contents.  If you have a special reason for including items that fall outside of this dimension, please see the Senior Curator or Collections Manager for further conversation.

I wrote my own letter.  How do I include it in the Time Capsule?

You would purchase a ‘Letter For Tomorrow’ and seal your own letter within for inclusion in the BCHS Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule.

How many Letters For Tomorrow can I purchase?

You can purchase as many letters as you wish.  You may purchase a letter to be completed on your family as a whole, and also purchase/contribute letters completed by each individual member of your family, with a focus on their own unique stories, and include a letter for your business.  You are welcome to purchase letters for groups, committees or organizations that you are a part of; however, we would prefer that the letters be completed by or in conjunction with leaders that have the most knowledge about the group.

Will you bury the Time Capsule?

No, the Bay County Historical Society Centennial Anniversary Time Capsule will not be buried (please see the information on the JFK Peace Capsule for justification on this decision). The sealed time capsule will be placed on exhibit in our Trails Through Time Gallery for the foreseeable future.  If, at some point in the future, it is decided to take the time capsule off exhibit, it will be stored in our collections storage space until it is opened, in May of 2069.

For more information please contact Corrine Bloomfield at (989) 893-5733, or by email at cbloomfield@bchsmuseum.org. 



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