This is one of five photographs taken by Ted McElwee of Marlinton Lodge No. 127 AF&AM laying the cornerstone at the Pocahontas County Board of Education Building in Marlinton, West Virginia, on October 11, 1948. The cornerstone held a small metal casket, approximately 7 x 4 x 4 inches, and contained two copies of The Pocahontas Times, two copies of The Marlinton Journal, a 1948 quarter and a 1948 nickel. The casket was opened in Marlinton on July 24, 2020. Because of their heritage as builders of cathedrals and other public structures, the Freemasons have historically performed a special ceremony at the laying of cornerstones for new buildings, upon request. In the Masonic cornerstone ceremony, the stone is checked, using ancient tools, to be certain it’s square, plumb (straight), and level because a building constructed on a poor foundation isn’t strong. Next, the cornerstone is consecrated with corn (or grain), wine, and oil — all of which are Masonic symbols of prosperity, health and peace. Finally, the stone is symbolically tapped in place with a gavel. Inside each cornerstone, the Masons place a “casket” – a small, sealed box containing information and objects pertinent to the year in which the cornerstone was placed. (Courtesy of Mary Jo Sharp, ID: PHP000519)
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If you have historical records or photographs to be scanned for the county Historical Archive contact Preservation Officer B. J. Gudmundsson at 304-799-3989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Prints of photographs are available.