“Lyman History Challenge” essay contest announced

By Noel V. Bourasaw
posted 9.3.09

The Lyman Minkler Mansion Committee issues a challenge to students in schools in the area to participate in a history competition in September 2009 to feature aspects of Lyman history: the significance of the town and its people in the history of the upper Skagit River region, and to feature, specifically, Birdsey D. Minkler and his mansion in Lyman. Submissions are due Sept. 27.

Minkler moved his family to Lyman in 1887, and built the mansion about four years later as he became a community leader along with Otto Klement. He built sawmills in Lyman and in the new town that he created at Minkler Lake. Lyman is celebrating its 100th year of incorporation and the city government already has moved into the mansion, which was kept largely intact from the early days.
The mansion committee is working closely with Lyman Grade School’s new principal, Mark Nilson, to determine how teachers and students can be involved.

Freedom of expression
While the emphasis will be on essays, other projects will be accepted, such as art, period costumes, etc. Essays should explain the importance of history to their lives and can include an interview with a family member or neighbor, a review of a history book or Web site, or other sources.
Entry forms with complete rules will be available online at the Skagit River Journal, (www.skagitriverjournal.com), as well as participating schools.

Students are to write an essay using Microsoft Word, and attach to it copies of photographs they may find after interviewing sources; middle-school and high school writers will be expected to provide bibliographies and footnotes. Completed essays must be submitted to the committee by Sept. 27.

Students submitting art or costumes should e-mail the address below at least a week ahead. The committee asks that the student include their sources and answer a few questions about the essay if they are finalists.

Students at any Sedro-Woolley or upper valley school are encouraged to sign up. Age ranges for consideration will be: Grades 1-5, 6-8, 9-12.
We are alerting parents and grandparents now to encourage and aid their student family members to begin planning for the contest this summer and perhaps to begin interviews and research about upriver history, along with looking through family collections for photographs.
Prizes and certificates will be awarded at a special centennial year celebration oriented to students at the mansion in Lyman at 1:30 p.m., on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10, 2009.

Students can begin their research with study of stories about Lyman and Minkler in the online Skagit River Journal, www.skagitriverjournal.com, and the editor will answer e-mailed questions to help students with their work.

Questions should be directed to Bud Meyers at 360.826.3301 or [email protected], or e-mailed to Noel V. Bourasaw, the Journal editor, at [email protected].

Teachers or family members who want to inform their students also may e-mail that address for more information and details.

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