SALEM, W.Va. (WBOY) — The old admin building at Salem University in Harrison County was torn down on Wednesday, giving university officials a chance to go back in time by opening a time capsule that had been untouched for 114 years.

Although some of the artifacts in the capsule were beginning to fall apart, several intact items were retrieved on Thursday, including:

  • A copy of The Salem Express from June 4, 1909
  • A copy of The Salem Herald from June 3, 1909
  • “Historical Industrial Review of Salem, West Virginia” book
  • Salem College commencement program from 1909

The headlines on the two newspapers included those for the 1909 Salem College Commencement ceremony, as shown in photos shared on social media by the now Salem University.

Readable headlines include “Glassworker’s Life Saved by Timely Action of Sen. Coffman: Distressing Accident Witnessed at Local Depot Tuesday. Jules Drajneaux Loses Arm,” “Commencement Week June 6-9,” “First Session of Criminal Court,” “Law—inghram, Steele and Sch— are the Candidates. Lively Scrap Promised,” Beatty Goes to Ohio,” and “Graves Were Decorated.”

According to Salem University, The Salem Express was founded in 1900 and The Salem Herald in 1904. The two papers consolidated into the Herald-Express in 1918.

In a video posted by the university of the time capsule being opened, people say that university officials didn’t even know the capsule was hidden in the cornerstone of the old building. “We were just cleaning it some, and we saw some lines on it,” said one of the site workers in the video.

After the capsule was removed from the cornerstone, Dr. Phylis Freedman was given the honor of removing the items. The removal video was also shared on the Salem University Facebook page.

During the demolition, the old bell from the building was also recovered, and both the bell and the time capsule items will be put on display in the future.

Now that the old admin building is removed, Salem University said it has plans to create an Alumni Plaza at the site.