LEETONIA, Ohio (WKBN) – Everybody wants to dig up buried treasure. But how do you find it without a map?
Leetonia had help with that part.

Leetonia Mayor Kevin Siembida got a call from a woman whose great grandfather, James Gilmore Slusser, had been the M.E. Church’s pastor and said she had found papers saying it was there–a time capsule.

“I took a special heart to it, and it’s unique because it connects us now to time in the past, you know, from the 1880s, and just shows how that community grew and developed,” Siembida said.

A hammer and chisel were used to find the time capsule near the building’s cornerstone, which was installed in 1887. The building now houses the offices and training area for Legacy Christina Home Care.

Rachel Jack, Joseph Bleacher and Tom Jack from Legacy Christina Home Care were there for the opening.

“And once we flipped it over, we’re like, yes, it was actually there. It was like a lot of work to get here, but it was well worth it,” Tom Jack said.

The box was labeled and dated June 10, 1887. Inside was an old church hymnal, a book explaining the church’s doctrine, newspaper articles from the Leetonia Democrat telling the big stories of the day, and nine coins, including a V nickel and another dated from 1749.

“There are coins here from before we had currency as a nation. That’s pretty amazing,” Bleacher said.

“I’m fascinated by the coins because I know that’s something everybody stood around at one point and put all those things in that box,” Rachel Jack said. “What were they thinking and what was the significance of each item we don’t know.”

The church was offering hope in Leetonia until closing recently. The original members felt comfortable enough to include some history in the first bricks and had no idea it would be so well received.

“You didn’t need diamonds. The history alone was well worth the find,” Tom Jack said.

The next step is getting the items preserved properly. There’s plenty of damage from being in that time capsule for 135 years.

“It’s very important to show our community and all the people who came here or who live here that this is part of your history and how you came to be,” Siembida said.

Leetonia wants to share the find so others can see the items, but that will take some time to arrange a proper display. It shows an important part of the village history, just like the coke ovens.