In the category of “Rituals & Rites,” there has probably been at least one photo op every week. Cornerstone-laying ceremonies are important for the community as well as for the organization undertaking the construction of a new facility. Cards such as this one show up all the time, and all I need to do is figure out how to edit out the inconvenient truth about this cornerstone laying in Marathon, IA. [The asking price was far too high, so I’ll have to content myself with a stolen JPEG.]
For any denomination other than Catholic, such a public event would have been conducted by the Masons with all due formality and stock phrases about how “the stone has been proved and found to be ‘fair work and square work’ and fit to be laid as the foundation stone of this Holy Temple.” Then the photographer, head beneath a black cloth, would snap a shot like this for use by the local newspaper and for sale as RPPC postcard views to let Uncle Harry in Keokuk that the project was well under way.
I can probably edit this to work for Asbury Methodist Episcopal—though I’ve never been able to make the elevations work nearly as well as the plan.
Francis Asbury, by the way, was one of the first M.E. bishops in the new United States.