CUMBERLAND — Freemasons, handling the same trowel and vessels used to lay the cornerstone of Cumberland City Hall 100 years ago, did it all over again Sunday afternoon, rededicating that marker at the seat of municipal government with a ceremony on the North Centre Street side of the building.
The original cornerstone was incorporated into the structure on June 9, 1911 and displays the names of Mayor George Young as well as commissioners Roderic Clary, Ward Eichelberger, Thomas Koon and Harry Smith.
Mayor Brian Grimm said the rededication was a perfect fit for Heritage Days weekend. He praised Freemasonry, saying the signs of the fraternity’s work can be seen throughout the Queen City of the Alleghenies.
“The first council meeting held in this city hall was on March 25, 1912,” Grimm said. The existing building was a replacement for a city hall built in 1876 that burned to the ground in 1910.
Gerald E. Piepiora, Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master of Maryland, led the dedication ceremony. “The vessels used to place corn, wine and oil on the cornerstone are the same vessels used 100 years ago,” he said. These are symbolic of the produce and the people of the land and the means of their subsistence. The tools of Freemasonry — the square, the level and the plumb — were a part of the ceremony as well.
Also on June 6, 1911, the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple on Greene Street was placed and dedicated. Today’s events paralleled those of 100 years and six days ago, with a rededication at that structure as well.
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