2016 Historical Essay Contest winners announced!

The winners of the 2016 annual Historical Essay Contest, presented by the Emmet County Historical Commission, have been announced. Both winners are Petoskey Elementary School fourth-graders in the “PALS” enrichment program, under teacher Kathy Slack at Sheridan Elementary School.

First place was awarded to Luke Ingalls, for his essay, “Bay View.” His essay includes a look back at the history of the Petoskey association, how it was formed and how it is used today. Luke won $100 for his winning entry.

Second-place was awarded to Katelyn Knickerbocker for her essay, “McGulpin Point.” Her essay detailed the presence of the French and later the British in the Mackinaw City area, and the arrival of the McGulpins at this Emmet County historic park property. She wins $50 for her second-place essay.

The students’ teacher, Kathy Slack, received a $50 stipend to help with classroom supplies and projects.

Because of the large number of entries this year – 49 – several Honorable Mentions were also awarded. They were given to:

  • Caroline Crenshaw, “The Sturgeon Bay Sawmill,” Pellston Elementary School, teacher Emily Wolford
  • Ava Genschaw, “City Park Grill,” PALS program, teacher Kathy Slack
  • Maggie Peterson, “The Harbor Springs Farmer’s Market,” Central Elementary School, teacher Carla Kanine
  • Slade Buchanan, “Perry Hotel History,” PALS program
  • Brady Olson, “Perry Hotel History,” PALS program

The funds for the essay contest are donated by the Bob Schulze Fund for Creative Writing held at the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. Schulze’s widow, Suzanne, served for many years on the Emmet County Historical Commission. Bob Schulze was instrumental in establishing funds that help to encourage area youth to write essays and poetry.

“The judges for this contest truly enjoy reading the students’ submissions, it’s always a pleasure for us,” said Melinda Spencley, who organizes the contest on behalf of the Historical Commission. “These students work very hard and tell us they enjoy learning more about the history of their hometowns and Emmet County through this project.”

The contest is held annually and is typically announced just after the start of the new year. It is open to all third- and fourth-grade students in Emmet County, including homeschooled children. 

The winning essays are posted below as PDFs:

Luke Ingalls First Place

Katelyn Knickerbocker Second Place


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