Contents of 1926 Time Capsule Discovered at Baltimore Construction Site Revealed

The contents of a time capsule discovered during the demolition of a former Catholic home for elderly women were displayed earlier today at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, home to the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s archives. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien accepted the capsule and its contents from Mr. Frank Harvey, whose construction company unearthed the copper container this past summer during demolition of the 83-year-old building.

A 1926 yearbook, published by The Catholic Review, a Baltimore Sun newspaper of the same date, and several U.S. coins were among the items on display. Also included were religious medals, fragments of an American flag, and an unsigned letter–contained in a glass salt shaker– noting the contents commemorating the occasion.

Kirkleigh Villa opened on October 29, 1926 at Cold Spring Lane and Roland Avenue, the gift of Elizabeth Jenkins, a prominent Catholic who bequeathed the property to the Archdiocese. The Daughters of Charity operated the facility and over the years over 400 women would call the independent living facility home. It consisted of “43 large, bright and comfortable living rooms,” according to a 1926 article in the Review.  Kirkleigh Villa closed its doors in 1966, upon the opening of Stella Maris in Baltimore County. 

Ownership of the property changed hands twice over the succeeding 43 years until it was demolished this past summer. Current owners plan to replace it with a 69-unit, three-story, state-of-the-art memory care and assisted living facility.  The new facility is due to open next November.

At the dedication of the facility on February 20, 1927, Archbishop Michael Curley said, “Here in Kirkleigh Villa, these good women are obtaining that which all the money in the world can never buy—kindness, service, contentment, happiness.”

Sean Caine

Sean Caine is Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Communications