EATON —The Preble County Courthouse cornerstone is now home to a new time capsule, to be opened in another 100 years.
On Saturday, Oct. 6 a special time capsule ceremony was presented by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio.
Commissioner Chris Day opened the ceremony with his comments on the momentous occasion.
“We are here today to place the time capsule back into the cornerstone so future generations can have a snapshot of what Preble County looks like today as we live here. The definition of a time capsule is, a container holding historical records or objects representative of a current culture, deposited, as into the cornerstone, for the preservation until discovery by future age,” Day said.
“A few weeks ago, we opened the cornerstone, which held the time capsule which was placed there over 100 years ago which held a snapshot of Preble County then,” Day noted. “Those artifacts have been on display in the courthouse since then. Since those artifacts have been on display, it has been my pleasure to see many Preble County residents observing them, trying to make a connection to their history.
“As we stand here today, we are making history for future generations,” he continued. “This ceremony placing the time capsule back into the corner will give future generations a snapshot of what Preble County looks like today. We are here today to recognize our courthouse, that has stood the test of time over 100 years. This is more than just a building, this is a place where residents come to do business, as we are doing today making history and recording it for future reference.”
Doug Kramer, with Kramer and Associates, took the microphone to speak on the history of the courthouse construction.
“I’m going to just touch on what would be a several hour speech. I will try to condense the history of the courthouse down to just a few minutes,” he said. “The first courthouse was built on this present site in 1815. The cost was about $4,500, the citizens helped pay for it. It was razed in 1848.
“Second courthouse was built in 1851 and cost $22,000, so six or so times the other courthouse. It was razed in 1917 to prepare for this, the third and present courthouse on this site. The cornerstone was laid on March 17, 1917. The building was completed and occupied then,” Kramer added.
“More than a year later, in September, 1918, the bond issue that was to pay for the courthouse was for $250,000, the commissioners had $2,000 left to turn back to the general fund at that time.”
Grand Master Eric R. Schau noted, the stone the Masons used to hold the ceremony was a piece which broke off when removing the cornerstone. The original cornerstone will be put back in place with the new time capsule.
The new time capsule contains: the Holy Bible, Church membership directories from area churches, mementos and documents from the Courthouse Centennial Celebration, Preble County flag, County Seal, Plat Book, Fair Book, road maps, 48th Annual Pork Festival pamphlet, 7th Annual Commissioner Charity Ball booklet, Bicentennial Booklets from Camden, Gratis, Lewisburg, and New Paris, other Bicentennial items, letter from Sheriff’s office, Deputy Sheriff’s Patch, Sheriff’s Lapel Pin, pictures of current courthouse employees, poems and signatures from prosecuting attorney office, Preble County Job and Family Services staff directory; 2018 dog tag and dog registration form, Day in the Life of Preble County Ohio photographic essay volume one and two, General Assembly of State of Ohio House of Representatives Proclamation, 2018 Preble County Phone Book, Preble County Historical Society member list, recent editions of New Paris Communicator and The Register-Herald, members or directory list of several sororities and community service organizations, business cards from different businesses, pictures of the opening of the 1917 time capsule, construction plan of the 2018 time capsule, biography of yourself, Grand Master’s pin, cornerstone ceremony program, and the Holy Bible and change purse from 1917 time capsule.
During her closing remarks, Commissioner Denise Robertson said, “I just wanted to thank you all for being here and thank the Masons for this wonderful ceremony that was performed 100 years ago — there is such a sentiment of tying our history together like this. Thank you for being here.”
“I really want to say something to the young people here: remember this day,” she continued. “This was a once in a lifetime event. Remember to tell your children and grandchildren that you were here the day we did this. This is a very special event and we are glad you were here.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH