Church in Dresden, Tennessee discovers cornerstone box after December tornado

DRESDEN, Tenn. (KFVS) – Leaders of the First United Methodist Church in Dresden are working with experts from Discovery Park of America to open a copper capstone box that was discovered after the Dec. 10 tornado.

The cornerstone box was found inside the bricks of the church built in 1923.

Church administrator Wayne McCreight contacted Discovery Park and asked for help in safely removing the contents of the box.

According to Discovery Park of America, the museum’s senior director, Jennifer Wildes, will attempt to open the box within the next two weeks. After opening the box, she will discuss what remains inside for almost 100 years.

Photos of all found items will be posted on Discovery Park Facebook page.

The church will lend all items found at Discovery Park for display for a short time.

According to a news clipping from the city newspaper, Dresden Enterprise, the box was placed during the construction of the church and contains extensive records of church membership, the full history of the church, copies of the church newspaper, copies of Dresden Enterprise and copies of hymns.

“If we find damp and fragile artifacts, it will take delicate care to preserve them intact before they can be carefully examined and cataloged,” Wildes said. “Whatever we find, we will ensure that these items left behind by past church members are preserved as a reminder of the church’s important history.”

According to a release from Discovery Park of America, Dresden, the county seat of Weakly County, was organized in 1825 and incorporated in 1827. The church grounds were purchased on February 4, 1883, and it is there that the he church was located in various buildings until the tornadoes.

Church leaders are still planning the new date and location for the church.

Donations to the church’s rebuilding effort can be made online at GoFundMe.com by searching for “Dresden FUMC Rebuilding Effort”, or checks can be mailed to Bldg & Renovation Fund, Dresden First United Methodist Church, 411 Morrow St., Dresden, TN 38225.

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