Masonic time capsule removed in SLO

acornejo@thetribunenews.comSeptember 8, 2013 

The San Luis Obispo Fire Department lent a hand, and a few tools, Saturday to the Masonic Lodge in San Luis Obispo to help remove a 100-year-old time capsule from the building’s cornerstone.

The capsule was put there when the building was constructed in 1913 — a long tradition of Masonic buildings, said Robert Bettencourt, past master of the lodge.

Its contents will be unveiled in October during a 100th anniversary celebration.

Although no one is sure exactly what’s inside, past records hint that local newspapers, coins and stamps were tucked away.

It’s not the first time the cornerstone capsule has been opened. In 1970, when the Masons celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the lodge being established in San Luis Obispo, it was unlocked.

Bettencourt said he could not find any record of what was added to the vault in 1970.

Once it is opened at the celebration, lodge leaders plan to put the items back inside along with objects representative of 2013 and seal it back up for another 100 years.

Asked how the fire department got involved, engineer and paramedic Gary Hale said he saw them trying to get the capsule out one day and offered to help.

Hale, whose father was a Mason, said the firetruck is equipped with tools that made it easier to get the capsule out of the building’s foundation.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

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