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Colonial Courthouse Time Capsule information sought

General location of the 1977 time capsule

In the 1970s the York County Bicentennial Commission painstakingly researched the dimensions of the first York County courthouse, which stood in the center of York’s square from 1754 to 1841. This was the building that housed the Continental Congress from September 1777 to June 1778, when the British occupied the former capital, Philadelphia. While meeting in York the Articles of Confederation, the first United States frame of government, was adopted, and news arrived of a needed victory at Saratoga and of the approval of essential alliances and assistance from France. Because of the importance of what went on in the courthouse at that crucial time, a replica of the building was erected in 1976, just two blocks from where the original stood. Click here for more on the original courthouse on the square.

Children placing items on the capsule under direction of Dr. Frederick Holliday, York City Schools superintendent. (York Dispatch microfilm, YCHC)

In November 1977, the two hundredth anniversary of the Articles of Confederation adoption, a time capsule, burial vault size, was buried on the grounds of the courthouse replica, now known as the Colonial Courthouse and open for tours as part of the York County History Center Colonial complex. Nearly 50 local children were involved in the burial of the capsule, with the hope that many of those children would participate in its opening 50 years later, in November 2027. Click here for more on the capsule.

Capsule prior to November 16, 1977 burial. Shown are Attorney Kenneth J. Sparler, Bi-centennial Commission chairman; Landon Charles Reisinger, commission coordinator; and Michael Hoover, vice-president of the Hoover-Wilbert Burial Vault Company, donor of the vault. (York Daily Record scan, Newspapers.com, YCHC)

The exact location of the capsule was not marked, so organizers are trying to determine that spot, so that it will be readily accessible in 10 years; probes so far have not been successful. The newspaper photos included here give a pretty good idea of the general location. Anyone present at the time capsule burial, or who has more information is asked to contact YCHC Vice President of Interpretation Daniel Roe at droe@yorkhistorycenter.org or 717-848-1587 x302.

Contact information for the children involved is also being sought so that they can kept informed of opening plans in the next decade. They are: Kathy Abernethy, Kim Anderson, Dana S. Anstine, Mary Beth Anstine, Shawn Baile, Kara Baker, Joe Baxter, Mark Bostic, Leslie Bricker, Mike Brown, Qui Brown, Shawn Calhoun, Judd Collier, Rachel Doering, Vincent Freeland, Mike Gardner, Jeffry S. Heindel, John S. Heindel, Brack Hivley, Michael Paul Hoover II, Shana Hopkins, Jon Hunt, Matthew Jimerson, Amy Kessler, Angela Linebaugh, Brian Linebaugh, David Lynch, Charlie Miller, Jody Neal, Bobbi Jo Oberlander, William Reichard, Christine Ridgeley, Colette Ritter, Doug Rothrock, Nathan Rothrock, Michael Shaffer, Matt Shue, Shawn Sidesinger, Erin Marie Sparler, Jenna Streett, Angie Sunday, Chris Tanner, Andrea Vandermark, Mike Wise, Tim Wolf, John “Andy” Woodring and Rachel S. Woodring.

Present view of Colonial Courthouse from northwest