Cornerstone box from 1923 discovered in Dresden church

DRESDEN, Tenn. – In the aftermath of the December storms, a church in Dresden found a relic of the past hidden within its walls.

A cornerstone box was discovered in the walls of a United Methodist First Church in Dresden over the weekend. (Courtesy of Discovery Park of America)

A cornerstone box from nearly 100 years ago has been found in the walls of Dresden’s First United Methodist Church.

“We removed the concrete from the cornerstone and behind it we found a box of cornerstone,” said Wayne McCreight, trustee of First United Methodist Church.

McCreight says the church has records and supporting documents when the cornerstone box was placed.

“In 1923, when this cornerstone was laid, we had no telephones or electricity. We couldn’t fly across the continental United States on a plane in three or four hours. None of that was available,” McCreight said.

He says the church committee plans to create its own time capsule to inspire hope and document today’s culture.

“In the future, if our time capsule box was ever opened, they’d never think we could go to the moon when they opened it. They might say those cell phones weren’t so cool, you know, at What is Amazon? You know we don’t need it, so yeah, we would definitely think about it,” McCreight said.

The church contacted Discovery Park of America to help manage the contents of the box.

Cornerstone box discovered in the walls of a Dresden church

“They discovered a copper box behind their cornerstone. So they contacted us to explain what they had found and ask for advice. We met with the band and discussed some options, and they agreed to let us help them open it up and see what’s inside,” said Jennifer Wildes, Senior Collection Manager for Discovery Park of America.

Wildes says they are doing everything in their power to make sure the items remain intact so they can be preserved further.

“We are going to be as prepared as possible,” Wildes said. “If the content is dry, it’s a script. If the contents are on the wetter side, that’s another scenario. So we are going to be very slow and careful depending on what we find inside.

Museum and church officials say they expect material relating to the history of the church to be found in the box, along with other important information about that time period.

“We actually expect it to be mostly paper documents inside, like journals, a hymnal for example,” Wildes said. “Depending on how easily they can be retrieved out of the box, we will slowly remove them piece by piece.”

Church officials say they plan to open the cornerstone box in the coming weeks.

You can find more local news through the WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News app.

Comments are closed.