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Photos: Pomp-Filled Ceremony Marks Time Capsule's Return To State House

From left, Secretary of State William Galvin, Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Grand Master of Masons Harvey Waugh look at the opening in the cornerstone for the time capsule. (Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe/Pool)
From left, Secretary of State William Galvin, Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Grand Master of Masons Harvey Waugh look at the opening in the cornerstone for the time capsule. (Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe/Pool)
This article is more than 5 years old.

A time capsule dating back to 1795 returned to its granite cornerstone in the Massachusetts State House during a pomp-filled ceremony Wednesday morning.

When unearthed last year, the historic capsule was found to contain old newspapers, 23 coins and a medal depicting George Washington.

Before placing the time capsule in the cornerstone again, officials added modern-day coins and a plaque commemorating its reburial. The capsule's older artifacts, as well as information about its historical significance, were on display in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts for the past several months.

Historians believe Revolutionary-era leaders Paul Revere and then-Massachusetts Gov. Samuel Adams were among those who first embedded the small brass box in its cornerstone home centuries ago.

Gov. Charlie Baker delivered a speech and was among several Massachusetts politicians who attended the ceremony, which featured marchers costumed in late 18th-century dress, with some playing fifes and drums for hundreds of schoolchildren and onlookers.


More than 1,000 masons, including members of the Grand Lodge of Masons group, gathered for the Bunker Hill Day event. Revere was a so-called "Grand Master" of the Grand Lodge of Masons when the capsule was first placed in the State House on July 4, 1795.

More photos from the ceremony:

With Gov. Charlie Baker looking on, Michael Comeau, executive director of The Massachusetts Archives and MFA conservationist Pamela Hatchfield lower the time capsule back into the State House cornerstone. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
With Gov. Charlie Baker looking on, Michael Comeau, executive director of The Massachusetts Archives and MFA conservationist Pamela Hatchfield lower the time capsule back into the State House cornerstone. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker and Grand Master of Masons Harvey Waugh watch as MFA conservationist Pamela Hatchfield and Michael Comeau, executive director of The Massachusetts Archives, lower the time capsule into the State House cornerstone. (Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe/Pool)
Gov. Charlie Baker and Grand Master of Masons Harvey Waugh watch as MFA conservationist Pamela Hatchfield and Michael Comeau, executive director of The Massachusetts Archives, lower the time capsule into the State House cornerstone. (Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe/Pool)
The time capsule ready to be placed into the State House cornerstone. (Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe/Pool)
The time capsule ready to be placed into the State House cornerstone. (Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe/Pool)
A metal plate seals the time capsule into the State House cornerstone. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
A metal plate seals the time capsule into the State House cornerstone. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Rio Maguire and children from the James Russell Lowell Elementary School in Watertown watch as the ceremony to once again bury the time capsule begins. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Rio Maguire and children from the James Russell Lowell Elementary School in Watertown watch as the ceremony to once again bury the time capsule begins. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Members of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps from Orleans, Mass. play for the crowd gathered at the State House. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Members of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps from Orleans, Mass. play for the crowd gathered at the State House. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker addresses the crowd gathered to see the time capsule placed inside the State House corner stone. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker addresses the crowd gathered to see the time capsule placed inside the State House corner stone. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

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