Our Lady of Mercy opens 1924 time capsule

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CCM/ Thomas Clapper The Our Lady of Mercy time capsule was an aluminum box soldered shut. It required some heat and prying to come open.

By Thomas Clapper
The Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church congregation, led by Fr. Jonas Shell celebrated the opening the 1924 cornerstone time capsule on Sept. 24, which was recently removed from the soon to be demolished church building on the corner of Moody Avenue and Main Street.
Over 100 attendees waited after Saturday evening mass to see what was inside the capsule that was placed inside the cornerstone of the 1924 church building by Rev. Joseph A. Weigand, pastor of the Holy Name parish of Steubenville, appointed by the current bishop of Columbus. The resident pastor of the time was Rev. Fr. Anthony Nickel.
The original laying of the cornerstone was held July 27, 1924 and had an estimated 2,000-2,500 guests including visiting delegations expected from Canton, Alliance, Massillon, Steubenville, East Liverpool, Malvern, Marges, Mineral City and other nearby towns and cities. William Steen was the stone cutter who entered the inscription on the cornerstone.
According to the Aug. 1, 1924 Carroll Chronicle, “It took to feed the visitors 1,000 rolls, 25 loaves of bread, 40 cakes, 30 chickens, 11 hams, 20 pounds of wieners, 2 bricks cheese, 50 gallons of ice cream, 10 pounds of coffee, 50 cases of soft drinks, 20 dozen lemons in lemonade, 20 gallons of potato salad, and an equal amount of chicken salad were served.”
The same article also stated “The crowd was efficiently handled by Big Ed McGuire, Harlem chief of police, assisted by John Heffron and Mr. Hedrick.”
Fr. Jonas Shell read some articles from the Carroll Chronicle in 1924 leading up to the event of the laying of the cornerstone. He then began chiseling the time capsule open. Tony Desimone assisted with chiseling. The time capsule that came out of the cornerstone was a small aluminum box that was soldered shut. When it could not be pried open, flames were carefully put to the edges burning the dried solder away.
After being pried open the capsule contained the following: A history of the Carrollton parish, current (1920s) US coins including a buffalo nickel and a wheat penny, a copy of the Catholic Columbian, a copy of Our Sunday Visitor, the names of members of the congregation of 1924, a $50,000,000 German paper mark, an account of the cornerstone laying as current as possible, and a certificate that the stone was laid “on the 27th day of July, 1924, Pius XI being Supreme Pontiff, Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States, Vic Donahey, Governor of Ohio, Rt. Rev. James J. Harley, Bishop of Columbus, Rev. Anthony S. Nickel, pastor of Carrollton and Andrew H. Hise, Mayor of Carrollton.”
Every item was carefully removed by Mark Oboy and placed in a plastic bag to be passed around for all to see.
“It is a beautiful reality to keep the tradition going of them to build a church and now build a bigger church for the community,” said Fr. Shell.
“We plan to use the cornerstone on a structure that holds the bell from the old church.”
The windows of the old church building have found a new home in a church in Hayesville, North Carolina.
“We have been trying to use as much of the old church as possible, even some bricks to build a structure to house the bell,” said Linda Desimone. “It is wonderful to know that pieces of the old building will be used and appreciated within the community as well as out of state.”
The contents of the capsule will be secure in the church archives.
Cutlines: LOM Shell Capsule Chisel: Fr. Jonas Shell chips away at the old 1924 cornerstone of our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church to retrieve the time capsule.
OLOM Capsule Oboy: Mark Oboy of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church takes the remains of the time capsule and carefully bags them for all to pass around and see.
OLOM capsule coins: There were six coins retrieved from the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church time capsule including a buffalo nickel and 1917 Standing Liberty Quarter among others.
OLOM Capsule Open: The Our Lady of Mercy time capsule was an aluminum box soldered shut. It required some heat and prying to come open.
OLOM Bank Note: A $50,000,000 German Mark was in the Our Lady of Mercy Time Capsule along with a member directory of the church. The German Mark has been demonetized since 1924.

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