Posts on Jan 1970

Forbes House Essay & Drawing Contest Brings History to Life

1st Place Winner, 2015, Grade 4, Adriana Ruiz, Cunningham Elementary School

1st Place Winner, 2015, Grade 4, Adriana Ruiz, Cunningham Elementary School

If you grew up in Milton, chances are at some point you visited the Forbes House Museum and participated in the museum’s annual Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest.

For the uninitiated, the contest dates back to 1924, when Mary Bowditch Forbes began this tradition as a way of cultivating an appreciation of Lincoln’s life and legacy among Milton’s young people.

Today, students in grades K-8 are invited to participate. The Lincoln Drawing Contest is for students in grades K-5, the Lincoln Essay Contest is for students in grades 6-8.

Says Genevieve Martland, who teaches 6th grade English at Pierce Middle School, “The Forbes House Museum Essay Competition is a valuable way for students to make a connection to one of Milton’s cultural institutions. Although the essay is challenging for sixth graders, it opens the door to learning about the Civil War early in their educational career.”

Last year’s 4th grade winner of the drawing contest, Adriana Ruiz, participated three years in a row and the third time was a charm—she took home the first place prize. Says Adriana, “I was shocked that I won it—there were so many talented students in my class. It was a great honor.”

Adriana said that the contest required some preparation, and that she and her classmates researched images online and watched a few BrainPOPs about Lincoln. (Although the contest is 92 years old, students approach it using the most current resources—BrainPOPs are quick and fun online lessons in history, science, social studies and other topics.)

Enthuses Superintendent Gormley, “The impact that this contest and the Forbes House have had on our students has been powerful in many ways. The students are given the opportunity to feel connected to the historical significance of our community, understand the relevance of Lincoln and his presidency and also display their understanding of these complex issues through both writing and art.”

More details about the Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest and Rules can be found on the Forbes House Museum website at  The deadline for all entries is Friday, Feb. 26 at 5:00 p.m.