1865 Time Capsule

To kick off the fundraising campaign in the spring of 1989, the church opted to locate and remove the time capsule placed in the corner stone in 1865 just days after the death of president Lincoln.



The images below include:

  • An x-ray the corner stone to determine the location of the time capsule
  • Opening the copper time capsule (one of the solder seals had failed and all the contents were wet).
  • Revealing the first item; 34 stars USA flag (1861-1865) which bears the stars of all the states of the Union, even the Southern states.
  • Celebrating the time capsule at a special service with two long time members (Dean & Grace) who were members of the two churches at the time of the federation.
Cornerstone Engraved Plate


During construction of the Winter Street church building, the membership placed an engraved silver plate into the corner stone.  That building was sold when the neighborhood became more commercial and most churches relocated to the new Back Bay neighborhood.  When the building was demolished by the developer, the silver plate was recovered and engraved on the opposite side and placed into the corner stone of the new building on Newbury Street.


Below are images of the two sides with their correlating text beside.

1841 Engraving

The Corner Stone of this Edifice, erected for the use

of the Franklin Street Church and Society, was laid with

religious, ceremonies May 27th 1841.

The Franklin Street Church & Congregation have maintained

Public Worship since August 6th 1835 at the Odeon, formerly

the Boston Theatre.  The Church at its formation,

was composed of sixty-three members, the present number is

Three Hundred and twenty.

Officers of the Church

William M. Rogers, Paster John C Proctor & Daniel Noyes, Deacons.

Building Committee

Henry Edwards_John C. Proctor_Thomas A. Davis_Henry Hitchcock

Leopold Herman_Seth Simmons_Chauncy Chase.

Rich d Bond Architect

John Tyler, Pres. U.S. – John Davis, Gov. Mass.

1865 Engraving

The Corner Stone of this Edifice erected for the use of

The Central Congregational Church and Society,

Was laid with appropriate religious ceremonies, Oct. 17th 1865.

The Franklin St. Church and Congregation, having taken the above name, maintained

Public Worship in their meeting house on Winter St. until July 2nd 1865.

Having found that building inconveniently located and having sold it for

business purposes with a view to erecting a better one, they then abandoned it,

and on its demolition, this Plate was found under its corner stone.

The pastorate of Rev. William M. Rogers continued until his death Aug. 13th 1851.

Rev. George Richards, his colleague from Oct. 8th 1845, and his successor,

was pastor until Apr. 20th 1859. The present pastor was settled, Feb. 2nd 1860.

The church has had, since its formation, one Thousand and sixty six members.

The present number is Three hundred and fifty five.


John E. Todd, Pastor, John N. Denison, James White and Thomas H. Russell, Deacons


Henry Edwards, Benjamin E. Bates, Joseph B. Tilton, William O. Grover

Joseph H. White, Charles Rollins, Thomas H. Russell.

R&R M. Upjohn, Architects.

Andrew Johnson Pres. U.S.      John A. Andrew Gov. Mass.

Frederic W. Lincoln Jr. Mayor Boston.

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