(09/30/13) - In 1891, Doctor James Naismith invented the game of basketball.
That same year, a time capsule was put together and sealed the following year in a Bay City church.
Now, 122 years later, that time capsule has been found and we are getting the first glimpse at what is inside.
Leaders at the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City knew there was a time capsule somewhere in the building.
"We weren't able to locate it," said Pastor Jeffrey Weenink.
But a renovation project required some excavation, so Pastor Weenink told crews to be on the lookout for the capsule, believed to be somewhere in the church cornerstone when it was laid in 1892. They found it Saturday, behind a 200 pound block.
"You can still see the shims, so they have it ready for us to put another one in," Weenink said.
The time capsule is in pretty good shape overall, made of lead, and inside, documents and newspapers with plenty of history.
"They are indeed remarkable," Weenink said. "Handwritten works of Judge Albert Miller, who was a State Supreme Court Justice, and a stalwart elder in this congregation."
Miller described the region in a letter.
"Was known to the writer when it was a howling wilderness inhabited only by Indians and wild beasts of the forest," Weenink said.
Weenink says the church was also instrumental in the founding of Alma College.
"We have the first commencement program," he said.
Other documents will be revealed to parishioners and anyone else who wants to get a glimpse on Sunday morning. The original plan was to actually open the time capsule then.
"We wanted to see what kind of condition it was, whether or not we needed to take immediate precautions to preserve it, because we need to be a good steward of this history," Weenink said.
Now, the mystery has been solved, the time capsule has been found, and Weenink knows the preservation must continue.
"To find it intact, to not do any damage, and still have the opportunity to preserve a heritage, to preserve history," he said.
The items in the time capsule will be on display Sunday morning at around 11:15, following mass at the church located on Center Avenue.
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