Time capsule from 1892 located underneath historic North Richmond mansion

Time capsule from 1892 located underneath historic North Richmond mansion


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A copy of the Sydney Morning Herald from February 29, 1892 found in the Belmont House time capsule.  Photo: Geoff Jones

A copy of the Sydney Morning Herald from February 29, 1892 found in the Belmont House time capsule. Photo: Geoff Jones

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A TIME capsule buried for more than 125 years beneath the foundation stone of North Richmond’s Belmont House has finally given up its secrets.

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A TIME capsule buried for more than 125 years beneath the foundation stone of North Richmond’s Belmont House has finally given up its secrets.

A total of 88 coins, a Sydney Morning Herald and a scroll containing information about the house, its owners and its builders were contained in the time capsule, removed from its sub-floor position between the mansion’s bearers and joists on March 5.

The capsule was ceremoniously buried during the laying of the building’s foundation stone on February 29, 1892, at the site of the modern-day St John of God Hospital. It was accessed by drilling through stone under the floor and was opened by St John of God chief executive Steve Brooker.

“This foundation stone was laid by Adeline May Charley aged two years and two months, born at Strathfield ... daughter of Philip and Clara Charley, who are erecting this house and who also the owners of 2,000 acres of land around this house,” the scroll stated.

The scroll also contained details about the cost of the building – 20,000 pounds – and names its architect as Mr Pitt of North Richmond. The contractors – A. and J. Howie – are listed, as are 60 names of those present at the laying of the foundation stone.

Adrian Howie – grandson of the house’s original builders - and Friends of Belmont House and Colo Shire Family History Society member Neil Renaud initiated the capsule’s recovery after discovering an article from the Windsor and Richmond Gazette dated March 5, 1892 that reported on the foundation stone ceremony.

Jeff Menzies was given the task of locating the time capsule from the article.

“Without that article it would’ve been impossible to locate the time capsule,” he said. “[It was>[/embedp>

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