A few years ago, repairmen fixing a leak at the Massachusetts State House discovered the country’s oldest-known time capsule, buried in 1795 by none other than Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. The brass box featured coins from the 1600s, a medal depicting George Washington, newspapers, a silver plate commemorating the capsule’s burial date and other treasures.

Time capsules of all kinds provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, and now Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital has preserved its own piece of history with the recent placement of an artifact box in the new hospital’s wall.

In late April, a small group of Adventist HealthCare leaders, supporters and members of the construction crew gathered to install an artifact box in the main foundation level of the new hospital. Among the mementos included were documents of early Washington Adventist Hospital history, a current organization chart, a copy of the first patient ledger, as well as a letter to future discoverers outlining the time capsule’s contents.

Once sealed, the crew attached the box to the rebar structure in the board room wall, which has been encased in concrete. There will also be a commemorative plaque installed in the board room to recognize the artifacts.

“Of course at this stage we hope the artifact box will stay put for several decades,” said Geoff Morgan, vice president of Expanded Access and project executive at Washington Adventist Hospital. “But it is a meaningful way to pass on these treasured pieces that symbolize the hospital’s ongoing legacy of providing holistic healing and compassionate care.”

A glimpse of a few of the mementos included in the artifact box.

Artifact Box Contents

  • Washington Adventist Hospital founder, Ellen G. White’s book: Ministry of Healing, proceeds from which funded the purchase of the original site
  • Early Washington Adventist Hospital history, from the Ellen G. White Estates
  • Washington Adventist Hospital Organization Chart, 2017
  • Copy of the first patient ledger page of Washington Sanitarium & Hospital, 1907, including names of the first patients admitted for care
  • “One Hundred Years of Adventist HealthCare” article from the Takoma Voice, 2007
  • Scripture from Ephesians 2:19-21
  • Photos including:
    • Washington Sanitarium & Hospital in Takoma Park (prior to the current name of Washington Adventist Hospital)
    • Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park
    • White Oak property where the new hospital is being built
    • White Oak construction activity of the new hospital
  • Food & Drug Administration Challenge Coin
  • LabQuest Challenge Coin