The 2006 Mildred Kirkner Memorial Essay Contest
Background of the Kirkner Contest:
The Society therefore organized a local history essay contest for upperclassmen at Conestoga High School (the successor to TE High School). While subject matter, definition of significance, and the time frame of the subject were left entirely to the discretion of the author, the essays needed to focus on an incident of historic significance occurring within the confines of Tredyffrin and Easttown townships. The length of these essays were to be less than 2500 words.
A Gold Prize and a Silver Prize, plus two Honorable Mentions, would be awarded. Cash awards would be given to the winners of the Gold Prize ($250.00) and the Silver Prize ($150.00), generously provided by Stephen & Raechal Finkelman, the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP, and the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.
Student Response to the Contest:
L to R, Kirkner Essay winners Philip Gibson, Caroline Hager, Carolyn Fox, and Natalie Olshevski
The 2006 contest winners are:
Gold Prize — Caroline Hager. In her paper entitled “The Blue Ball Inn of Tredyffrin Township”, Miss Hager explains that in 1796, an inn was constructed on the corner of what is now Russell and Old Lancaster Roads to provide “a roof and a meal” to drovers, travelers and wagon drivers journeying between Philadelphia and Lancaster. For the next 100 years, the Inn developed an eccentric, and even an eerie, reputation, now well-told in Miss Hager's prize-winning entry.
Silver Prize — Philip Gibson won our second-place prize with his submission “The Importance of the Paoli Massacre”. Unlike others entries which simply related the tactical details of the September 21, 1777 Battle of Paoli, Mr. Gibson steps back to view the fight through the eyes of a strategist. His findings are refreshingly candid.
Honorable Mention — Carolyn Fox submitted a controversial entry entitled “The Suppression of Race Relations in the Tredyffrin Easttown School District.” Miss Fox passionately argues that subtle racial discrimination still continues to this day within our community and its school district, more than 70 years after the end of the infamous “Berwyn School Fight” of 1932-34.
Honorable Mention — Natalie Olshevski, in her essay “History in My Neighborhood”, relates her curiosity concerning the origins of many of the placenames within this community. Miss Olshevski sets out to satisfy that curiosity, and that of many of her readers, with the interesting background behind many common but ignored Main Line names and places.
Awards Are Publicly Announced:
Mr. Thorne, president of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society, congratulates Silver Prize winner Philip Gibson,
while Gold Prize winner Carolyn Hager and Dr. Donovan, principal of Conestoga High School, look on.
Award Presentation On Sunday, October 15, 2006:
Publishing the Winning Essays:
Public Presentation of the Prize-Winning Essays:
Page last updated: 2007-07-17 at 11:05 EDT