Construction workers discovered a time capsule dating back to 1954 at St. Joseph Hospital early Wednesday morning.
The small steel box was uncovered in a space behind a memorial plaque attached to an exterior wall of the main hospital building. The construction workers, who are working on building the hospital's new northeast tower, were in the process of removing the plaque for storage when they noticed the box.
The time capsule was dated July 18, 1954 - the day of the dedication ceremony for the building.
Despite being buried for more than 50 years, the artifacts inside the capsule were in near-perfect condition. Included were copies of the dedication ceremony speeches, intricate gold and silver medals engraved with images of St. Joseph, prayer cards and other documents.
CEO Joe Mark said the capsule discovery was a stroke of luck as no one at the hospital was aware it existed.
"What an absolutely amazing find," Mark said. "We are so excited and cannot wait to put together a capsule for the new tower. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to the construction crew for recognizing the box as a priceless piece of our history."
Mark said the hospital will definitely organize another capsule for the new building, which is scheduled for completion in November 2010.
Photo 1: Joe Mark, CEO of St. Joseph Health - Humboldt County, and Sr. JoAnn Eannareno, interim Vice President of Mission Integration, display the contents of the time capsule found by construction workers at the hospital on Wednesday.
Photo 2: A box of small silver and gold medals was among the contents of the time capsule discovered at St. Joseph Hospital on Wednesday.