Grace Hudowalski Essay Contest Winners

Picture: Courtesy Adirondack Museum

Today  -- in conjunction with the Schroon North Hudson Historical Society -- we are proud to present the winning essay in the Grace Hudowalski Essay contest.

Josiah Esper took the first place prize in the 15 to 18 year group with his essay on the history of mining in the Adirondacks and the impact it had on shaping the United States, this area and its peoples.

You can read Josiah’s winning entry here. Congrats Josiah.

For many of us, we know the Adirondacks today as a natural adventure playground, with lakes, hiking, skiing and fishing as its big draws.

Josiah’s essay takes us back in time when this mineral rich area provided 11 minerals to a young, growing country, with an insatiable appetite for one mineral in particular: iron ore.

Josiah’s essay reminds us that by 1890, much of the 250,000 miles of railroad track in the US was made with Adirondack iron-ore. But, as Josiah’s essay makes clear, the industry prospered at the expense of the mistreatment of its miners, many of whom were immigrants.

Josiah, a senior, was home-schooled under the Adirondack Home Education Fellowship with Schroon Lake Schools.

The winners were announced Sunday at the museum after its annual Strawberry Festival.

Historical Society President Loris Clark said Josiah received $1,000 to be used towards further educational expenses. The contest is sponsored by the 46er Conservation Trust and the historical society.

Grace Hudowalski  was the first woman who climbed all 46 Peaks. She kept a home on the east shore of Schroon Lake for many years. She was an inspiration to many generations of climbers. Her passion for the Adirondacks is legendary.

We will have more of the winning entries later this week.