June Miller did some research and found an article describing the original cornerstone ceremony from the Hudson Enterprise on Saturday, July 2, 1887. Here are some excerpts from the article:
“In the hearts of the Methodist people of Berlin, the events of June 28, 1887 will be a centre around which pleasant memories will ever circle, for on that beautiful afternoon was laid, with appropriate services, the corner-stone of their little church whose spire will soon point heavenward.
“[The ceremony] occurred Tuesday afternoon and was witnessed by almost 200 people of this and neighboring towns. […] Dr. Chadbourne [Methodist minister from Boston] made an able address, intensely interesting to all present. He spoke of the three churches so near together and hoped the emulation and strife of ministers and people would be to see which could do the most good in the community, and live the most Godly lives; this kind of rivalry was right.”
The archives of the Hudson Enterprise state that the original time capsule contained: "Discipline of 1884, New England Conference minutes of 1887, a list of members and officers of the church, a list of all who have thus far contributed and the following publications; Zion's Herald, Christian Advocate, Michigan Christian Advocate, Boston Herald, The Voice, Public Good, Berlin Enterprise and Berlin Reporter."
In May of 2011 we found a time capsule. Preservation carpenter Tim Wolhueter was repairing the tower when he saw the center of the top granite block had been chiseled out just enough to hold a small metal chest. Tim was hopeful and expectant.
He called out to everyone around anticipating the treasure. Tim, June Miller, Evy Dueck, Mark Smith and Marty Miller were present for the opening, and their disappointment was plain. The contents were paper mush. Not a single tool or coin. 124 years later and the contents were just paper pulp.