Dresden, Tenn. church finds cornerstone box after Dec. tornado

The cornerstone box that was recovered from the historic Dresden First United Methodist Church....
The cornerstone box that was recovered from the historic Dresden First United Methodist Church. (Source: Brody Kemp)(Brody Kemp)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 2:08 PM CST
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DRESDEN, Tenn. (KFVS) - Dresden First United Methodist Church leaders are working with experts from Discovery Park of America to open a copper cornerstone box that was discovered after December 10 tornado.

The cornerstone box was found inside the bricks of the church that was built in 1923.

Church trustee Wayne McCreight contacted the Discovery Park and asked for help to safely remove the contents of the box.

According to Discovery Park of America, Museum Senior Director Jennifer Wildes will be trying to open the box over the next couple of weeks. After she opens the box she will discuss what remains inside for nearly 100 years.

Photos of any items found will be posted on Discovery Park’s Facebook page.

The church will loan any items found to the Discovery Park to be placed on display for a short time.

According to a clipping from the town’s newspaper, Dresden Enterprise, the box was placed when the church was first built and contains complete documents of the church’s membership, full history of the church, copies of the church newspaper, copies of Dresden Enterprise and copies of hymnals.

“If we find artifacts that are damp and fragile, it will require delicate care to preserve them intact before they can be thoroughly examined and cataloged,” said Wildes. “Whatever we find, we’ll make certain these items left by church members from the past are preserved as a reminder of the church’s important history.”

According to a release from the Discovery Park of America, Dresden, the county seat of Weakly County, was organized in 1825 and incorporated in 1827. The lot for the church was purchased on Feb. 4, 1883, and it was there the church was located in various buildings until the tornadoes.

Church leaders are still in the process of planning the new date and location for the church to be built.

Donations to the church rebuilding effort may be made online at GoFundMe.com by searching “Dresden FUMC Rebuilding Effort,” or checks may be mailed to Bldg & Renovation Fund, Dresden First United Methodist Church, 411 Morrow St., Dresden, TN 38225.

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