The results have finally come in for our “Secrets: The mysteries behind unidentified photography” essay contest! Due to some different things happening at the museum and to the large quantity of submissions we received it took us a bit longer than we expected!

They say, “A picture is worth 1,000 words” so participants were asked to select an unidentified photograph from our exhibition and write a fictional biography or story about it.  We had 37 entries and each and every one was so fun to read, who knew our community had so much imagination! A big thank you to Whitney Sager, Editor of the Boone News Republican, for serving as our guest judge! Also, a big thank you to The Book Shoppe for donating some of the wonderful prizes for this contest!

But now, what we’ve all been waiting for:

Best Overall – Catherine Pollard

One-year Historical Society Family Membership, Book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Award Certificate, and a Print of Chosen Photograph

1st Place Adult  – Anthony T. Olson

Gift Certificate to The Book Shoppe, Award Certificate, and a Print of Chosen Photograph,

Honorable Mention Adult  – Jessica Vande Vorde

Award Certificate and a Print of Chosen Photograph

1st Place Youth  – Taylor Roberts

Book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Award Certificate, and a Print of Chosen Photograph

Honorable Mention Youth  – Mark Steffen

Award Certificate and a Print of Chosen Photograph

Why Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children?

This book is a spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography in a thrilling reading experience. Sounds a bit like our contest doesn’t it?

Winners may pick up their prizes starting this Friday 12/5! Stay tuned this week as we share each of the winning stories with their selected photograph. To read more entries visit the Historical Center to view the exhibition!

Best Overall Entry

By: Catherine Pollard, Age 11

Picture Number 37Ten minutes had gone by but it felt like an eternity. Today was the day, the day I finally did it. I got through those long months of serving as a waitress at Buckhorn Exchange imagining myself selling my books in Chicago, I was tired of Aspen. Everyday I would earn a few dollars and come home to a room full of people all over. I came from a family of ten. Mary was the oldest, then Martha, then Robert, then me Abigail, then Michael and Jeremiah, then Rebecca, then little three-year-old Vivian. I would spend lots of time away from the house. There was barely any space at the one story house.

I saved up for a train ticket to Chicago from Colorado, it was a lot of money. I also bought a fair priced apartment that will house some family or friends. I will pitch my stories to publishers and if they like it they will pay me three cents per line I write. It was five minutes until my train boarded. I was practically jumping with joy at the thought of my own room. I saw lots of people in suits as if they were going to the capital of the world. My pale pink dress with a floral collar fell to my knees. My hair was in a braid down my back like it always was.

The conductor called my train and I got into my small sleeping cart. I unloaded my few clothes into the drawer. There was a chamber pot and a small cot next to a very antique side table. It was about ten minutes before the train began to chug along the tracks. I saw mountains a whole new way. The crack of dawn brought a fluorescent light to the bleached blankets across the peaks. The ground level shifted and gave me a new view of Colorado.

I could have stared at the sight for hours, it was absolutely gorgeous. I pulled out my favorite book Gone With the Wind and read for an hour or so until dinner. I went to the dining cart and ordered some porridge. I took my time, not keen to imbibe the hot meal. I wanted time to sink in the fact I was headed to Chicago. I stared in awe at the different landscapes. There was agricultural land, forests, and prairies all covered in bright blankets. I was joyous as I saw myself typing away earning a living putting my heart on paper.

After supper I put on my nightgown and fell asleep. I awoke to the sun reflecting off the snow.  I remembered how I would sit on the wooden porch prying the snow with my foot wondering about different things that  now seem irrational and meaningless. I saw a few men that looked absolutely miserable shoveling the snow away from the tracks. A bitter chill ran down my back as I imagined how they must feel. Every inch of their body must be numb to the first season’s snow. The pronged teeth of nature must be sinking into these mens’ flesh as if the cold were biting it.

I brought a biscuit to my quarters. As I dressed I imagined my mother cooking a stove full of porridge for my siblings. My first ever heartache away from home happened. I truly would miss when I awoke to Vivian bouncing on my bed as the smell of morning meals filled the room. Or when we would take materials that dad wouldn’t use and made a castle for us to try and all squeeze in. My eyes were blurry with tears as I thought of the memories that were miles and miles away. Or maybe I missed all the times that the boys were so ignorant that I just laughed. I thought of how it felt when Mary, my older sister, left for Wyoming. My heart had been ripped out. I wondered if my family felt the same. Looking in my hand mirror, I fixed the lace on my pine green dress. I remember the day Martha gave it to me. She got it from Mary, soon I would give it to eleven-year-old Rebecca. Then she would give it to Vivian I hope. I hope Vivian loves the dress.

We were almost there. I had delicately written each and every thought in my mind on to some parchment. As soon as I got to my new home I would send the letter to beg my family to see me as soon as they could. Then as I saw the city I felt it. The feeling where you could fly out the  roof because you never felt these strong feelings all at once. I was extremely excited, yet nervous and scared. I was anxious, and I was sorry. I was sorry I never told momma that I really appreciate the meal she made me before I left. I was sorry I didn’t say a proper goodbye. Right now all those thoughts pulled on me and I wanted a sense of comfort. All I could do was button up my coat, pack my things, and step out into the frosty air. There was a sense of comfort. I did it! I was here and I would do great things. Now I will have time to say a thousand words from the bottom of my heart at three cents per line.