Student Artwork and Essays Preserved for 25 Years in Franklin County Time Capsule


CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have announced the winners of a countywide competition that asked local students to share what they love about Franklin County with future generations through a time capsule project.

Students from the county’s seven public school districts were invited to submit essays, photos or pieces of 2D artwork that answered the question, “What is the heart of Franklin County?” Each participating school district selected first-, second- and third-place winners at the elementary, middle and high school levels before submitting their finalists to the county.

First-place entries will be placed in a time capsule that will be inserted in the base of the Benjamin Franklin statue that once adorned the Franklin County Courthouse. The 159-year-old statue has been on loan to the Chambersburg Heritage Center since 2004 but will have a new home in the lobby of the Franklin County Judicial Center later this year.

Entries were submitted by Chambersburg Area Senior High School, South Hamilton Elementary School (Chambersburg Area School District), Fannett-Metal Elementary School, Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School and Greencastle-Antrim High School. 

Winning students are:

  • Phoenix McCoy, Chambersburg Area Senior High School
  • Sumeja Korkutovic, South Hamilton Elementary (Chambersburg Area School District)
  • A Fannett-Metal Elementary School student
  • Felicity Dunkle, Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School
  • Eleanor George, Greencastle-Antrim High School

“Franklin County means something different to each of us. Not only is it encouraging to see our students participating in this type of competition, it’s also interesting to see Franklin County through the eyes of some of our youngest residents,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dean Horst. “On behalf of the commissioners, we’d like to thank the school districts that participated in this project as well as the administrators and teachers who helped make this competition a reality.”

Staff from Franklin County’s archives and records management department spearheaded the competition and anticipate sealing the time capsule for 25 years. Opening the capsule after 25 years means it will be unsealed during the students’ lifetimes, giving them the opportunity to be present when the capsule is opened.

The time capsule project coincides with the 240th anniversary of Franklin County’s founding, which occurred on Sept. 9, 1784. It also coincides with the 275th anniversary of the publication, “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania,” written by the county’s namesake, Benjamin Franklin, and other like-minded scholars. The pamphlet offers advice on how to best educate Pennsylvania’s children to ensure the commonwealth’s future.

“Mr. Franklin and his contemporaries set out with a mission and a dream to educate the children of Pennsylvania 275 years ago,” said Rikki Chesley, director of Franklin County’s archives and records management department. “Through this contest, we are celebrating the realization of that dream. We are taking a moment to thank the administrators, teachers, librarians, and support staff who show up every day in every school to make sure that dream keeps going from one generation to the next. Finally, through this contest we asked students to show us what they know, and we are so excited to share the creative ways they expressed ‘the heart’ of Franklin County.” 

For more information on the student contest and time capsule project, visit the Franklin County Archives & Records Management blog at Additional information on the relocation of the Benjamin Franklin statue will be released at a later date.

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