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Bottle of Wheat
1825; bottle ca. 1857
Maker not marked
USA: Massachusetts
Glass, wheat grains, paper, ink, cotton, cork
overall: 3-1/8"h x 1-3/4"w x 3/4"d
Loaned by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts

Clear glass bottle. The bottle is filled with wheat grains. A typed label is adhered to one side of the bottle. It reads, "Wheat - Part of which was used at the Laying of the Corner-Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1825, and at the Consecration of the Statue of Gen. Joseph Warren, June 17, 1857." Cork stopper secured in place. Cotton string around neck. Label on top, red edge, in ink "G.19"

On June, 17, 1825, a crowd of an estimated 150,000 people witnessed the cornerstone laying for the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Massachusetts. A symbol of prosperity, corn, along with wine and oil, is used in Masonic cornerstone laying ceremonies. Participants in the Bunker Hill Monument cornerstone laying ceremony preserved these wheat seeds, which were used to represent corn, as a souvenir of a remarkable event. The seeds were used a second time at Bunker Hill at the 1857 dedication of a statue of Joseph Warren. The Revolutionary War hero died in 1775 during the Battle of Bunker Hill. For further information, see Newell, Aimee, et.al., "Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection", 2013, p. 270-271.