Starr and The Rivers of Grosse Pointe Open Children’s Home of Detroit Time Capsule from 1950


From left to right, Elizabeth Carey, Lisa Gandelot, Amy Reimann, and Richard Levin begin to open the Children’s Home of Detroit time capsule from 1950.

On Wednesday, September 27, 2016, representatives from Starr Commonwealth and the Children’s Home of Detroit gathered at The Rivers of Grosse Pointe to open a 66-year-old time capsule.

Starr merged with the Children’s Home of Detroit in 2009, and continues the legacy of serving children on the eastern side of Metro Detroit through Starr Detroit Academy, a charter school in Harper Woods, Mich. Starr also operates a residential campus for children and serves adults and children through in-home care throughout Wayne County and across Michigan.

img052The time capsule was originally placed within the cornerstone of the administration building, then being constructed, for the Children’s Home of Detroit, on June 8, 1950. Photos from the initial event feature Margaret Kanter, head of the Board of Trustees, placing some items, including a 48-star American flag and several newspapers, into the copper box, but there was no existing list of the contents.

Starr Commonwealth live-streamed the event on Facebook, which began with a few words from Richard Levin, CEO of The Rivers and caretaker of the box since it was unearthed in 2010. Residents of The Rivers and guests including former Children’s Home board members, residents, and staff also heard from Mea Rutan, a representative from the Children’s Home of Detroit and a current Starr board member, as well as Elizabeth Carey, President and CEO of Starr Commonwealth. “180 years ago, a group of dedicated women in Detroit decided to care for our most vulnerable children. We are proud and privileged to carry on their legacy,” said Carey.

dsc_0284The time capsule was opened by Amy Reimann, Starr Commonwealth’s Corporate Historian and Major Gift Officer. Contents of the time capsule include a Bible, the 48-star flag, several local newspapers, a board of trustees list for the Children’s Home of Detroit, several photographs of the buildings, and a penny. The penny was placed in the box before it was sealed by Margie Garbanino as a young girl, and she was in attendance to see it unearthed 66 years later.

As Starr moves forward in our second century of helping children and families, it is still wonderful to look back at where we have been and to honor our history. This public unveiling of a time capsule from 1950 was a great way to remember our past and to propel us forward to continue serving.