1917 Time Capsule Unveiled at Passavant Community

Published: Monday, June 08, 2015

As Olde Main, the building which has stood at the heart of Passavant Community for more than 100 years, continues to be torn down, a piece of its history has been unearthed.

During the demolition, documentation was found suggesting that a time capsule had been buried in the cornerstone of the building in 1917. Brian Hockenberry superintendent at dck worldwide, the general contracting company for the repositioning project at Passavant Community, was determined to find it.

“I was on the biggest piece of demolition equipment possible one day,” Hockenberry said, “when I saw this little box!”

“We knew it was in the cornerstone,” said Laura Roy, executive director of Passavant Community, “but after years of renovations, we had no idea where the cornerstone was.”

Hockenberry said he thought the cornerstone would be in the front of the building, but instead, the time capsule was found in the back of the building under the boiler room

Roy and Hockenberry unveiled the contents of the time capsule to Passavant Community residents and staff on June 5 in Scholl Conference Center. The contents included: a Holy Bible; a yearbook and some photographs from the Old People’s Home (Passavant Community’s original name); Rules and Regulations of The Home; financial reports of The Home; The Lutheran magazine; various 1917-minted coins; Pittsburgh newspapers The Chronicle Telegraph, Gazette Times, and The Dispatch; the Connoquenessing Valley News; the Butler Eagle; a miniature silk American flag; and more.

Four current Passavant Community residents – Bill Proffitt, Stan Whiting, Elizabeth Bodensky and Dolores Amorosa, who were all born in 1917, were guests of honor at the unveiling ceremony.

“It is so wonderful that the sacredness and importance of history were recognized back then,” Roy said.

The time capsule and its contents will be temporarily displayed in the Abundant Life Center, and eventually donated to the Zelienople Historical Society.

Suggestions are being taken for items that could be placed in a new time capsule, to be buried in the Alice S. Osborne Centennial Garden on the Passavant campus this fall.

Pictured at right (top): Some of the items found in the 1917 time capsule found under the boiler room of Olde Main. (Middle) Passavant Community residents were fascinated to see the buried items mainly intact. (Bottom) Laura Roy, executive director of Passavant Community and Brian Hockenberry, superintendent at dckworldwide, reveal the contents of the time capsule.

See more photos on Lutheran SeniorLife's Facebook page.

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