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Local Medina County News

Freemasons open 1924 time capsule

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    Matt Strehle, left, a trustee of Medina Freemasons Lodge 58, cuts open the 1924 time capsule while Chris Lightner, senior warden of the lodge, holds the capsule.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Eric Lohr, worshipful master of Medina Freemasons Lodge 58, shows a 1924 edition of the Medina County Gazette on Saturday during a time-capsule-opening ceremony in Medina's Uptown Park.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    James Huff, senior deacon of Medina Freemasons Lodge 58, prepares the audience for the opening of a 1924 time capsule Saturday in Medina's Uptown Park.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    An antique Bible, belonging to Medina Freemasons Lodge 58, is on display Saturday before the opening of a 1924 time capsule in Medina's Uptown Park.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Members of Medina Freemasons Lodge 58 address the audience Saturday during a time-capsule-opening ceremony in Medina's Uptown Park.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Ryan Thomson, senior steward of Medina Freemasons Lodge 58, takes out a gavel from a 1924 time capsule. Eric Lohr, worshipful master of lodge, describes the gavel to the audience in Medina's Uptown Park on Saturday.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Audience members snap cellphone pictures of 1924 photographs after a time-capsule-opening ceremony Saturday in Medina's Uptown Park. Eric Lohr, worshipful master of Medina Freemasons Lodge 58, held the photos.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    A 1924 photo, taken from the Medina Freemasons Lodge 58 time capsule Saturday, shows the construction of the Medina Masonic Temple.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Eric Lohr, worshipful master of Medina Freemasons Lodge 58, speaks to the audience before the opening of a 1924 time capsule Saturday in Medina's Uptown Park.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    A 1924 photo, taken from the Medina Freemasons Lodge 58 time capsule Saturday, shows the construction of the Medina Masonic Temple.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — An Oct. 21, 1924, copy of the Medina County Gazette contained a front-page article that previewed the laying of the cornerstone for a new Masonic temple on North Elmwood Avenue.

The copy of the newspaper, which sold for 3 cents, was contained in a 1924 time capsule opened Saturday in the city’s Uptown Park by Medina Freemasons Lodge 58.

The opening of the time capsule was part of Medina’s ongoing bicentennial celebration. The community was founded in 1818, and Medina Freemasons Lodge 58 was formed two years later.

“Our lodge has stood about as long as there was a Medina,” Chris Lightner, senior warden of the Medina Freemasons, told the audience. “That’s why we’re here today.

“We could have opened the time capsule at any point for our members,” Lightner said. “But we wanted to share it with Medina, since we’ve had such a good relationship with Medina throughout the years.”

The time capsule had been tucked into the cornerstone of the former Medina Masonic Temple when the building was constructed in 1924 on North Elmwood Avenue. In 2014, the lodge sold the temple to the city of Medina, which decided the following year to tear it down to make room for parking.

“The building had fallen into a state of disrepair, and it was a bit pricey to repair,” said Jim Huff, the Medina lodge’s senior deacon. “It was a hard decision to sell because it had been our home since 1925.”

The Medina Freemasons — who now meet at Western Reserve Masonic Community, a senior-living complex on Nettleton Road in Medina Township — were promised the cornerstone and time capsule as part of the agreement to sell the building.

The time capsule contained a gavel used by the master of the lodge, a 1923 Medina County Farm Bureau report and a financial statement from a savings and loan company showing $3,753 in cash on hand.

The Freemasons also found a silver dollar and buffalo nickels in the time capsule.

“They’re not pristine. They’re a little green, so they’re probably not worth much monetarily, but they mean a lot to us,” said Eric Lohr, worshipful master of Lodge 58.

Several black-and-white photos also were taken from the time capsule, and they generated interest from audience members after the ceremony.

A stone reportedly quarried from the site of King Solomon’s temple also was inside as were a list of 1924 Medina churches, a financial statement from the Medina Village School District, a Medina Telephone Co. telephone book and a copy of American Legion Weekly, which included an ad promoting a hair-growth product.

“They were still telling you how to grow more hair,” Lohr joked. “There were still balding problems.”

Messages may be left for Bob Sandrick at (330) 721-4060.
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