WEST PITTSTON — A time capsule dating back to 1922 was opened on Saturday in West Pittston, providing an opportunity for history buffs to get a glimpse of items that the Daughters of the American Revolution placed there nearly a century ago.
Several dozen people gathered to watch as a concrete block was removed from the corner of the former Society House of the DAR, which is now the Masonic Temple.
The excitement was palpable as attendees looked on as a copper box was removed from the block and its contents were removed.
Although the contents has been affected by time and moisture, each was recognizable.
Among the items in the capsule were a copy of the Pittston Gazette dated August 31, 1922; a Bible; a brief history of the chapter; a 1922 silver dollar; and a 1922 50 cent piece.
According to Barbara Dymond, DAR regent, the box contained not only historical items, but an opportunity to celebrate the organization’s commitment to service and to each other.
Dymond lauded the members of the Masonic Lodge, who assisted them in locating and opening the box, in providing space for the event and in planning for a future time capsule to be placed at the lodge.
Dymond said members of the group had recently found a handwritten list of items that had been placed in the box.
“Coming upon our 120th anniversary,” she said. “It seemed the perfect time to open the capsule.”
Natalie Smith, historian and a relatively new member of the group, said her great-grandmother was in the DAR.
Smith said in order to join the group women must show proof that they had a relative who fought in the Revolutionary War.
“If your mother, grandmother or great-grandmother was a member, you can also use that documentation to become a member,” she said.
Kathleen Smith, of the Luzerne County Historical Society, was in attendance because she said the event was the perfect opportunity to promote and preserve history.
The Masonic Lodge’s Worshipful Master Samuel Reviello said it was a pleasure for the service organizations to work together.
Both Dymond and David Merithew, district deputy grand master of the 59th Masonic District, said their respective organizations were growing in number, with many young new members.
Both groups have selected items that will eventually make their way into a time capsule and be placed back in the same spot to be opened by future generations.
Coins, documents and photos will be vacuum packed to insure preservation.
Kristine Hejnicki, of Pittston, said she was attending the event with her daughters — Kloe, 4, and Sofie, 2 — to familiarize them with the importance of history and of community.
Having recently moved from California, Hejnicki said she appreciated the many elements of history to be enjoyed in the Greater Pittston area and the Wyoming Valley.
Reach Geri Gibbons at 570-991-6117 or on Twitter @TLGGibbons