The small copper box from the cornerstone of the former Elks lodge on South Main Street, opened Friday, yielded a brief glimpse of what members of the lodge deemed important when the time capsule was buried in June 1915.
The box contained:
• Copies of the June 26 editions of The Morning Republican and Daily Courier newspapers, yellowed but in excellent condition, and including a special section from the Daily Courier about the new Elks building.
• A small American flag with 48 stars.
• The articles of incorporation of the Elks Home Association, dated March 15, 1888.
• Copies of the Elks bylaws, 1914 edition, and the Elks Home Association bylaws.
• A memorial service program, dated Dec. 6, 1914.
• A copy of the charter of Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks #75, dated July 10, 1888.
• A copy of the Official Lodge Record from the chapter’s founding on March 15, 1888.
• A copy of the Elks’ 1914-1915 constitution and statutes.
• A miniature copy of the New Testament, with an inscription inside indicating it was donated by F. Roberta Hanrahan, with a photo of a young girl, presumably Roberta Hanrahan, tucked inside (this was perhaps the daughter of Robert Hanrahan, the lodge’s secretary).
• A small metal star, rusted.
• A small bronze elk head, covered in a green patina.
Vaun Wickerham, a trustee of the Elks Home Association, said the box was recovered during the demolition of the former Elks building last month. It was soldered shut and airtight. Some of the documents inside appeared to have been nibbled on by mice, but Wickerham theorizes that this damage was done before being placed inside.
Representatives of Marathon Petroleum Corp., which bought the building to expand its downtown campus, made sure the box was returned to the local Elks chapter, unopened.
A celebration was held Friday night to open the box and was attended by Elks members and Marathon representatives.
Wickerham said Marathon presented the club with several mementos, including a flag retrieved during the demolition, framed photos of the lodge at different points in its history, and the keys to the former building.
The time capsule was buried when the cornerstone was laid. The building was not completed for several more years but opened later in 1915, Wickerham said.
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