City of Marion, Ohio Fire Department Captain Ryan Redmon and his team of six firemen were dispatched to a fire station scheduled for demolition. They went to retrieve an old department cornerstone in the wall when they stumbled into something rather unexpected.
For historical preservation purposes, Redmon and the Marion Fire Department crew excavated the station’s cornerstone on May 25 from the original Fire Station No. 2 structure, which had been constructed in 1905.
Redmon and his workers spent about 30 minutes digging before realizing the cornerstone was farther into the structure than they had thought. They brought in experts to finish the job.
A copper box fell out of the sandstone as Redmon and his colleagues were pulling out their final block, he said. Redmon and the other firefighters were so ecstatic about their find that they brought it back to the station to show everyone.
The MFD has been compiling a written history of the department, but they had no idea the 1905 fire station hid a time capsule.
Redmon claims the copper box was difficult to open since its lid was soldered shut at one corner. The Marion Fire Department held a public opening of the time capsule on May 31 and asked local citizens to attend.
According to the City of Marion Ohio Fire Department’s Facebook page, the 118-year-old copper box contained a trove of preserved memorabilia related to the department, such as nine MFD badges from the “turn of the century,” an invitation to the 1878 “Northwestern Ohio Volunteer Fireman’s Association Fireman’s Games” (which is still held today), four newspapers from July 1905, and much more.
Redmon donated it all to the local historical society.
According to Redmon, a letter sent by the fire department’s chief of over 40 years, Chief McFarland, was one of his favorite finds in the box.
The MFD has decided that one of the badges from the original time capsule from 1905 will be included in the new time capsule that will be buried during the building of the new fire station, Redmon said.
According to Redmon, the following capsule will be opened in 118 years, at which point someone will find a badge that has been in use by the Marion Fire Department for 236 years.