OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A mystery in Oklahoma City has finally been solved.

On Wednesday, the Heritage Trust Company and the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum opened a 100-year-old time capsule that was recently found inside The Heritage Building.

The building was recently built as a Masonic Temple for Oklahoma-area freemasons.

“What a special gift we experienced today – the forethought of a group of Oklahoma citizens wanting to share who they were and what they believed in is extraordinary,” said Bond Payne, Heritage Trust Company Chairman. “The characteristics of freemasonry, someone who is committed to bettering himself and his community, are evident in the artifacts that they shared as well as the quality of the construction of this building. What I take away from this historic experience is a feeling of respect and humility for those who stood in the same place 100 years ago when Oklahoma City was in its adolescence. We are stewards of this building and look to use this history to inform our future by striving to be the best citizens we can be.”

The Heritage Building was completed in 1923 and was able to withstand the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred just south of the building.

“This time capsule is a very powerful sign of strength and symbolizes OKC’s resilience,” said Kari Watkins, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum President and CEO. “We learn many lessons from history and these revelations help inform our future. We often look back so we can think about the impact we can have moving forward. Just as the memorial offers comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity to many that visit it, we are happy to help showcase the artifacts at the museum so they inspire visitors to think about the legacies they hope to one day leave behind.” 

The contents of the time capsule include:

  • History of Ancient Craft Masonry in Oklahoma City, by Past Grand Master Henry L. Goddard.
  • History of Royal Arch Masonry in Oklahoma City, by Past Grand High Priest Edgar Cook.
  • History of the Council, Royal and Select Masters in Oklahoma City, by Grand Master Edward P. Gallup.
  • History of Knights Templar in Oklahoma City, by Grand Recorder George W. Spencer.
  • History of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, by Past Potentate and Treasurer, Will S. Guthrie.
  • History of the Order of the Eastern Star in Oklahoma, by Past Grand Matron Mrs. Olive M. Wardell.
  • History of the Order of the Amaranth in Oklahoma City, by Past Royal Matron Mrs. Olive M. Friss.
  • History of the Red Cross Chapter of the Eastern Star during the world war, by Mrs. Cary W. Townsend.
  • History of the Eastern Star study club, by Mrs. Marian Foster.
  • History of Order DeMolay, by Don McCutchen.
  • History of the Rainbow Girls, by Mrs. W.I. Spence.
  • Book of Constitution and By-Laws of the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma City National Memorial Proceedings of the thirty-third annual communication of the Grand Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, held February 28-March 1-2, 1922.
  • Proceedings of the thirty-third annual convocation of the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons of Oklahoma, held April 5, 1922.
  • Proceedings of the twenty-eighth annual assembly of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Oklahoma held April 4, 1922.
  • Proceedings of the forty-eighth annual session of the Imperial Council, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, held June 13, 14, and 15, 1922.
  • Proceedings for the convention called for the purpose of organizing M.W. Grand Lodge of Oklahoma in 1892.
  • Proceedings of the consolidation of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma and Indian Territory in 1909.
  • Roster of members of Oklahoma Consistory No. 1, Valley of Guthrie, Orient of Oklahoma.
  • Roster of members of Indian Consistory No. 2, valley of McAlester, Orient of Oklahoma.
  • A copy of the Oklahoma Consistory Bulletin, Nos. 6 and 7.
  • A copy of Indian Consistory Bulletin for October.
  • Copies of the Oklahoma Mason for September and October.
  • Shrine edition of The Oklahoman for April 10, 1922.
  • One copy of The Daily Oklahoman of October 13, 1922.
  • One copy of the Oklahoma News of October 13, 1922.
  • One copy of the Oklahoma Times for October 13, 1922.
  • One penny, year of 1922.
  • One dime, year of 1922.
  • One copy of the October issue of India Ink, volume 3, number 4, containing a list of the officers of India temple, band and Arab patrol.
  • Contents of articles which were deposited in the cornerstone of the old India temple in 1902.
  • A lambskin apron.
  • Piece of stone taken from the ruins of King Solomon’s temple, furnished by Brother William Noble.
  • Masonic Monitor.
  • The Holy Bible.

“The fraternity has a rich tradition of laying cornerstones on public buildings, churches and masonic buildings,” said Bob Davis, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma. “President George Washington laid the cornerstone on the United States Capitol building. We have long provided this public service to the community. This was an exciting event for the Masons when it first occurred. It was the first Masonic building erected by the Masons in Oklahoma City. This became the Masonic center in Oklahoma City for many years. That’s what made this building so special.”  

The artifacts will be on display in the lobby of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum for a limited time.