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Box found in Midtown building gives us a look at Omaha 111 years ago

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OMAHA, Neb(FOX 42 KPTM)-- In 1906, the leaders at Omaha's Methodist Midtown Hospital were getting ready to say goodbye to the building they had called home.

The space on 20th and Harney just wasn't big enough anymore, so they planned to build a new, state-of-the-art hospital on 36th and Cuming.

It was a big moment for them, so they wanted to preserve it with some mementos of their time. They filled a copper box and buried it during construction of the new site.

It sat there for 111 years.

That is, until construction workers happened upon it earlier this summer.

They were tearing down the Salvation Army site for a new parking lot. Methodist sold the building to the Salvation Army for $1 back in 1990.

But workers and officials with the Salvation Army knew right away the box was special, and that it needed to go back to its home.

Thursday afternoon they opened the box in a special presentation with Methodist hospital.

Inside there were old photos, letters, newspapers, and medical instruments-- everything to give people an idea what the hospital was like in those early days.

"It was all just very warm and community and friendly," said Major Lee Ann Thomson with the Salvation Army. "It was just Omaha. It was Omaha in a box."

Methodist plans to keep everything that was inside the box and put it all on display.

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