Workers doing renovations at a Waterville cemetery have made quite a discovery. What they found was placed there more than a century ago.
There’s an old saying often uttered about old buildings; “If these walls could talk”. At the Pine Grove Cemetery in Waterville, thanks to mason Eric Timmins, the walls are not only talking, they’re giving a history lesson. Timmins and his co-workers from Masonry Unlimited were in the midst of renovating the old chapel when.
“We cleaned off the stone and we found the box embedded in the top of the stone. Took it out, opened it up, saw that there was a penny on top and a note,” Timmons said.
What he uncovered was a time capsule placed in the stone of the chapel when it was built back in 1907. Timmons brought the find to Trudy Lovely, who’s been the superintendent at the cemetery for the past 30 years. Lovely said she never in her wildest dreams thought they’d find something like this.
“Never. Never. What a treasure this is,” she said.
Stuffed inside the little copper box more than a century ago was a penny, presumably from 1907, the original contract signed by the City of Waterville with the company who built the chapel, and the pen Lovely thinks was used to sign it.
“It gives the exact price, $4,967, for the building of this chapel,” Lovely said.
Two copies of the Morning Sentinel were also preserved inside, both from August of 1907 when the paper cost just two cents. The front page tells the story of the French attack on Casablanca. Inside reads almost like a copy of today’s paper where the national debt was fodder for political debate. And folks could catch a show at the Waterville Opera House for just a nickel.
“Just seeing newspapers from 1907 is quite something,” Lovely said.
What to do with the contents of the time capsule is now in the hands of city officials who have contacted the Waterville Historical Society to figure out the best way to display the items.