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Cornerstone time capsule unveiled in Wilkes-Barre

First Presbyterian Church unveiled the contents of the 50-year-old time capsule sealed away in a cornerstone of the structure in 1972.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Behind a cornerstone at First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre sat a time capsule. 

Inside of it was 50 years' worth of history. All of it is now on display for those in the community to see. 

Several members of the church were around back when this was all packed away.

"There are pictures of my grandparents, parents, of course, a lot of members that have passed. We're in some of the pictures 50 years ago," said David Correll, Sestercentennial Committee.

"It was nice to see old pictures and reminisce about the different things that went on in the congregation," said Jeanne Kravitz, Sestercentennial Committee.

The church unveiled more than 40 items inside the time capsule cornerstone from 1972. Some of the items date back even further than that. 

Everything from newspapers of the time to church programs and photos.

"We have an original bible from 1887 that was put in the cornerstone and a lot that was put in the year of the flood, 50 years ago, and a lot of other old memorabilia," said Correll.

The cornerstone not only celebrates the 250 years the church has been here, but congregation members say the contents found behind it help paint a picture of what life was like 50 years ago for the community.

"This congregation is all over the valley. You look at a street sign, and there is another name of a member of the congregation," said Rick Schroeder, a congregation member.

Even after all these years later, the cornerstone's mission stays the same. 

"Keep coming back. Build on what was here and what was given to us by the previous settlers, previous members of the community," said Schroeder.

The contents will be on display for about six months before they go back into the cornerstone in the fall with additional items. 

The church plans to open it again and take another look in 2072.

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