Michael Ross

The Board of Governors of the Lycoming County Historical Society invites high school seniors to participate in the Society's ninth annual Richard L. and Miriam L. Swan Mix Student Historian Award competition. This award honors the lives of two dedicated educators and prominent local historians.

Since its founding in 1907, the LCHS has promoted its mission to discover, collect, preserve and interpret the cultural heritage of our region. This competition provides Lycoming County high school students with the opportunity participate in the Historical Society's mission.

This competition invites seniors attending schools in Lycoming County to submit an 800 to 1200 word essay for which the student selects a time period from on of the displays at the Taber Museum and becomes a person who lived at that time in history. The essay must be historically accurate for the time period depicted in the gallery. "Imagine yourself in the gallery. Choose various items you observe in the gallery and explain how they would be used as part of your daily life."

The 2021 winner of the award was announced at the Lycoming County Historical Society's annual meeting on April 25. Montoursville High School Senior Isabella Taylor was named the 2021 Student Historian, for her essay, "The Advancements of Communication Technology Through the Years."

The Taber Museum is filled with fascinating exhibits portraying our rich local history, and your senior students are guaranteed to find a wide array of interesting topics for consideration based upon the criteria listed below. A team of judges chosen by the Historical Society will determine the winner, and a cash prize of $500.00 will be awarded. The successful essayist will be recognized by the Lycoming County Historical Society at its annual meeting in April of 2022.

Participant Information:

  1. Eligibility: Any senior attending school in Lycoming County is invited to submit an entry. One entry per student; essays become the property of LCHS and will not be returned.
  2. Due Date: Friday, April 8, 2022
  3. Announcement of Winner: Friday, April 22, 2022
  4. Cash Prize: $500.00
  5. Judging: The winner will be determined by a team of judges selected by the LCHS. All entries will be reviewed anonymously (essays will be identified by number, not by name). The decision of the judges is final.
  6. Contact Person: Submit questions to the museum staff (email: info@tabermuseum.org or phone 570-326-3326). You may submit your final essay via email to info@tabermuseum.org or present it in person at the front desk, LCHS Thomas T. Taber Museum, 858 West Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.
  7. Theme: "Stepping Into the Past at the Taber" - Select a time period at the Taber Museum and become a person who lived at that time in history.
  8. Essay Requirements: Select from one of the museum galleries (for instance, Victorian home, Lumber, Pioneer home, Train room, etc.) and write a first person essay about your life addressing the following:
    • Essay must be historically accurate for the time period depicted in the gallery.
    • Imagine yourself in the gallery. Choose various items you observe in the gallery and explain how they would be used as part of your daily life.*
    *Remember to use your senses and literary devices to make your essay as creative as possible.*
  9. Format: Your cover page must include a title, your name, your school, your email address, and phone number. The essay must be between 800 - 1200 words, typed, double-spaced, 12-point font such as Geneva, Helvetica, Times, or New York (as a guide, consult appropriate MLA writing standards). Since the essay requires descriptive and interpretive language rather than formal academic research, any source materials used must be cited but a formal bibliography is not required.