Once in a Lifetime

July 4, 1795- The Founding Fathers hide a time capsule in the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House

1855- Workers find the capsule, clean its contents and reinter it, making their own additions.

Dec 2014- More work at the State House unearths the cache again. The contents make a visit to the MFA for cataloging and preservation.

June 17, 2015- The Wood girls make a spur of the moment visit to the State House to attend the official reinterring ceremony.


Along with twelve hundred Free Masons and another several hundred spectators we stood at the corner of Beacon and Park streets to hear speeches from Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, and Grand Master of Masons Harvey Waugh. There was music from a fife and drum corps and a Navy quartet and we saw soldiers fire off three huge, and super loud, canons.

Perhaps most interestingly to me, the Masons performed the same cornerstone ceremony that Paul Revere and Samuel Adams performed at the original laying of the State House cornerstone in 1795.

The ceremony was far bigger, and far better attended, than I had expected. It was long, but not drawn out, and interesting even for the youngest among us. The masonic ceremony was new to us, the reading of the list of contents lined up with the images we had looked at before heading into the city, and the cannons just stole our hearts.

Having only heard about this event yesterday (on a LED sign above the highway, no less!) I am so glad that that we got to go. There is every expectation that this capsule will not be opened again in any of our lifetimes. It was so exciting to see it reinterred.

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