Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 15, 2014

Uncovering the past: Memorial Hospital

1928 time capsule discovered at site is a virtual treasure trove

— CUMBERLAND — A time capsule that had been placed in the marble entranceway at the former Memorial Hospital was opened at City Hall on Wednesday and revealed a multitude of historic items and hand-written documents, as well as a humorous item left for the future openers.

Mayor Brian Grim and Margie Woodring, city clerk, opened the aged copper box in the mayor’s office to find a red pamphlet of The Gospel of St. John sitting atop a large stack of documents.



“We got a call that there was a time capsule there and it was around the area that they were about to do a demolition,” said Grim.



The former Memorial Hospital facility is currently being razed to create an open green space to market to developers. Workers found the time capsule Monday in a section of the ornate entranceway to the original hospital building.



“We found it underneath an engraved granite tablet to the left of the main entrance,” said Rhodes.



The main entrance facade is expected to be preserved and donated to the Allegany Museum.



The rectangular time capsule sustained some minor damage before being discovered when a worker accidently hit a corner of the capsule with a saw.

The box, made by Pritchard’s Hardware of Frostburg, was transferred to the mayor’s office where some research was done on it. It was found that the time capsule was placed at the hospital during a dedication for the city’s newest hospital on Memorial Day weekend in 1928.



Construction on the new Memorial Hospital was subsequently completed and the facility opened in the summer of 1929.



Once open, the date the time capsule was
interred was verified. Inside was a copy of the Cumberland Daily News from May 30, 1928, with the headline “Mystery of the Italia Deepens.” The loss of the dirigible Italia while in route to the North Pole was a big story at the time.



The time capsule was placed in the entranceway during a dedication ceremony held at 2 p.m. on May 30, 1928.

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