Digby Academy cornerstone contents to be on display at town levee

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Councillor Mike Bartlett, administrative assistant Susan Rice and special constable Richard Parry examine the cornerstone of the Digby Academy.

By Jonathan Riley DIGBY COURIER NovaNewsNow.com

Residents of Digby can get a good look at the contents of the Digby Academy time capsule at the town’s New Years Levee.

A hundred and twenty-two years ago, in 1891, the people of Digby stuffed some newspapers, coins and Masonic documents into a tin box and embedded the box into the cornerstone of the Digby Academy.

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When the town had the former school demolished this September, the crew and Digby’s special constable Richard Parry were careful to salvage the stone and the contents of the tin box.

“I was very impressed with the amount that has been preserved,” said Parry. “The contents were wet and exposed to moisture for a good part of the last 122 years.”

Parry was especially grateful to the staff at the Admiral Digby Museum – they spent 40 days working on the 500-page book detailing the proceedings of the meetings of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia from 1891.

The pages of that book have been preserved in Mylar and will be on display at the town’s New Year’s Levee.

Most of the newspapers disintegrated as they came out of the box. No portions of the Digby Courier, Weymouth Free Press, Annapolis Spectator, Bridgetown Monitor, Yarmouth Herald or Yarmouth Times were left intact.

But the banner and top portion of the front page of the Evangeline newspaper from 1891 has been saved.

Most of the coins as listed in a Courier article from 1891 were there – a Canadian nickel, dime, quarter and 50-cent piece; but no “copper cent” or penny was there. The 20-cent piece in the box was not from Canada but from Newfoundland.

Those too will be on display New Year’s Day as will pieces of the white marble sign that originally adorned the top of the main front door to the school.

The “Public School” sign was covered with a façade of bricks in 1976 and only came to light again during demolition.

It has broken into four pieces but is otherwise intact.

Representatives of the Masons will be on hand at the levee to unveil and answer questions about the artefacts.

After the levee the artefacts will go on permanent display at the King Solomon Lodge in Digby and the cornerstone will be installed outside near the north west corner of the lodge.

The town’s levee is from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at the Digby town hall.

The unveiling of the artefacts will take place at 1:30 p.m.

The municipality will also hold their usual levee at the municipal offices in Seabrook from 2 to 4 p.m.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

Organizations: Digby Academy, Admiral Digby Museum

Geographic location: Digby, Nova Scotia, Mylar Annapolis Canada Newfoundland Seabrook

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