NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) — Dozens of community members and former Newburgh Presbyterian Church congregation members had a look at their old church directories, photos and letters at Preservation Hall Sunday afternoon.
Town records say the capsule was placed inside the church’s building on French Island Trail in October 1965.
The church ended as a congregation in 2019, and Preservation Hall was once home to the church between the 1800s and 1965.
Former congregation member Rick Zeiher opened the manila envelops which held the church mementos for decades.
He also opened some documents saved from the church’s 175th anniversary in 2015.
The opening of the capsule serves as a reminder for the Presbyterian congregation.
“We lived it. So, it’s a little different when you live it and come away,” Zeiher said. “It’s a part of your life.”
The Newburgh Museum will take photo records of what was discovered and display them at a later date.
“Anytime that we can see a piece of our history and touch and see it for real, it really helps I think helps people understand that it’s meaningful and has an important place in Newburgh’s past,” said Jeremy Korba, who serves as the Newburgh Museum’s board of directors president.
Martha Westerbelt Faber traveled from Kansas City to watch the opening.
Roland Westerbelt — Martha’s father — took the job as the church’s pastor and moved the family from Southern Illinois to Newburgh in 1958.
“It brought back all the memories of the time we were in this building and the whole process of building the new church when I was a young teenager,” Westerbelt Faber said. “Very special times in my life, and this church meant a lot to me.”
She also started a friendship with the Warrick County historian — Anne Rust Aurand.
“A lot of this is my memory also, although my family belong to this church,” Rust Aurand said. “We were here a lot because of Marcy. We did a lot of things together, and I have memories of this too, but some of these are just general memories of growing up in Newburgh.”
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