Today marks the 99th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the old Warren County Infirmary building, which now houses the Warren County Health Department. On August 17, 2015 the Records Center and Archives completed a new exhibit highlighting the history of the old Infirmary. While conducting research I found an entry from the Commissioners Journals appointing J.A. Runyan, a member of the Infirmary Building Commission, to purchase a box and to procure the necessary records and matters for the laying of the corner stone. I thought to myself that this must mean there is a time capsule in the building! Unfortunately there were no follow up entries in the journals detailing whether the time capsule existed or when it would have been sealed within the corner stone.
Moving on with my research I was able to find an article from the Western Star with all of the missing information. The article details that there was a small informal ceremony on September 2, 1916, in which the Building Commission, the Superintendent & family, and other interested spectators placed a “treasure box” within the corner stone.
As an archivist it was thrilling to discover a missing piece of Warren County’s history. The Records Center and Archives staff met with the Warren County Commissioners on August 11, 2015 to propose the opening of the time capsule. It was agreed upon that a committee will be formed in order to confirm the existence of the time capsule, to organize the opening of the time capsule, and to gather items from throughout the Warren County departments to replace the 1916 time capsule. The ceremony to extract and open the time capsule is currently scheduled on the 100th anniversary, Friday September 2, 2016. Be sure to check out the new exhibit and look for addition information to come! -Written by Jenifer Baker, Deputy Archivist
Commissioners Minutes Volume 26, page 40 from 1916
The Western Star, September 7, 1916