Ormond Beach Union Church time capsules rescued ahead of demolition

Also in City Watch: Neighborhood meeting planned for storage facility project.

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  • | 9:00 a.m. July 28, 2021
  • Ormond Beach Observer
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This story was updated at 9:17 a.m. on Wednesday, July 28, to reflect the city's claim it was already aware of the time capsules' existence.

Demolition of the former Ormond Beach Union Church structure at 56 N. Beach St. began on Tuesday, July 27, and an Ormond Beach couple made sure pieces of Ormond Beach history were able to be saved in the eleventh hour.

Winston and Merri Churchill, former members of the church, notified the city last week of an existing time capsule in the northeast corner of the church. As a result, city workers were able to find two time capsules — one appearing to contain artifacts from the original 1883 church, which John D. Rockefeller attended services in, and another capsule from when the church was rebuilt in 1960. The city reported that it was already aware of the time capsules, and planned to save them.

The demolition began on Tuesday, July 27. Photo by Jarleene Almenas
The demolition began on Tuesday, July 27. Photo by Jarleene Almenas

The city reported the time capsules were removed Friday afternoon. The City Commission will get final say on what the city will do with the artifacts.

One possibility is that they will be donated to the Ormond Beach Historical Society, which as a whole, had been in favor of preserving the church.

President Jerry Lampe said they would definitely be interested if that were the case.

“I would be interested in finding what’s in them, and if we can put them in the museum once it’s finished, that would be ideal,” said Lampe, referencing the museum the society hopes to establish at the MacDonald House once renovations of that historic structure are complete.

In the meantime, the time capsules could be preserved in the Anderson-Price Memorial Building, which is next door to the church property.

Merri Churchill said that would make a good home for the time capsules.

“I think they deserve to have them, if they’ll take them,” she said.

She and her husband are not sure what could be in them, but for the longtime members of the church, and their relatives in town, it’s Ormond history.

New storage facility project

A neighborhood meeting will be held by Newkirk Engineering, Inc. on Thursday, Aug. 5, to discuss a proposed Interchange Depot project for 295 Interchange Blvd.

According to the city’s weekly staff report, the project seeks to construct a three-story indoor mini-storage facility that will span 111,825 square feet on a 2.94-acre parcel.

The meeting wll be held at 5 p.m. at the All Aboard Storage building at 509 S. Nova Road.

Whale beaches in New Smyrna

An 8.5-foot Pygmy sperm whale was euthanized on Friday, July 23, after it beached itself a little before 9 a.m. that morning in New Smyrna Beach.

Volusia County Beach Safety reported the decision to euthanize was reached by the Hubbs Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Team, who  stated on its Facebook page that the whale was in poor health and had a poor rehabilitation prognosis.

After a full necropsy was performed, the team found the whale to have parasites, liver and lung issues, as well as signs of cardiomyopathy, a disease often found in stranded whales of this species.

The organization cautioned members of the public from pushing beached animals back into the water themselves, as that could cause them further injury. Instead, please call the FWC at 1-888-404-3922.


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