October 26, 2012

Artifact: Mule Shoe

4.5 x 6 inches

Date: Unknown

Significance: This mule (or horse) shoe was discovered in 1996 by workers adding a wheelchair access ramp to Wyneken Hall on the campus of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis. The shoe may have belonged to a mule used in the construction of the seminary in 1924-1926. The cleat on the shoe suggests that it was the shoe of a working animal, and its narrowness makes it more likely to have belonged to a mule and not a horse.

October 26 is the 88th anniversary of the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the new Clayton campus of the seminary.

About the cornerstone-laying: On 26 October 1924 the cornerstone for the administrative building of the seminary was laid. Groundbreaking for the campus had been held nine months earlier on 18 January. About 20,000 people, not only from Saint Louis but also from towns across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, gathered on that beautiful October day for the ceremony. Rev. Richard Kretzschmar, president of the Western District of the Missouri Synod and ex-officio member of the seminary Board of Control, performed the rite, which was accompanied by hymns, special music, sermons and prayers. The campus was dedicated on 13 June 1926 with an even larger crowd and more elaborate festivities. [Information from Carl S. Meyer, Log Cabin to Luther Tower: Concordia Seminary during One Hundred and Twenty-five Years toward a More Excellent Ministry 1839-1964 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House,
1965): 151-52.]

Additional photographs (top to bottom): Team of mules pulling the grader to prepare the land, 12 March 1924; the laying of the cornerstone, 26 October 1924; a close-up of the cornerstone in place; large crowds at the ceremony.

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