WHEELING, W.Va (WTRF) — On Friday, a small crowd circled around a pile of red bricks and cinderblocks at 99 Main Street, North Wheeling, WV.
Crews were tapping hammers against the stones, looking for an ancient piece of history belonging to the building which used to stand there.
The pile of debris belongs to the now demolished Sacred Heart Church and the crews were digging up an old time capsule, which was cemented inside the church’s cornerstone.
“It was wonderfully intact. The papers inside were well preserved. The coins were well preserved,” said Tim Bishop, Director of Marketing/Communications, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.
Inside the capsule were some rusty loose coins dating back to 1902 and some dusty, yellow stained copies of the Wheeling Intelligencer from the early 1900s.
The Diocese invited Charles and Gene Schultz, the church’s two oldest living parishioners to the site to open the box of memories.
“That’s a great thought. I really appreciate seeing those,” said Charles.
According to Bishop, the Wheeling Housing Authority gifted the church’s cornerstone and cross back to the diocese which will soon be displayed in the Cathedral of St. Joseph Courtyard. The items inside the time capsule will be stored in the diocese archives.
“We don’t wanna loose track of where the church of West Virginia has been over the last 100 years or 120 years and it’s going to teach us lessons moving forward so preserving that is vital,” said Bishop.