Each year, a sure sign of spring is students from Sleepy Hollow High School descending en masse on the Warner Library and the Historical Society to research historical biographies of local personalities.
Sleepy Hollow sophomores Laura Epstein and Madeline McGovern received awards for their winning essays from the Mayors of their respective villages at the Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony held at the Warner Library Wednesday evening, May 25, 2011. The essay contest was first introduced in December 2003 as a way to commemorate the accomplishments of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow residents from our past. Judges from the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center reviewed more than eighty essays for the eighth Annual Hall of Fame Essay Contest this year.
Laura Epstein chose Nathan Cobb for her essay because of his “contribution to forming the first modern public school,” and “the provision of a high level education to all social classes,” when public schooling for children was not yet commonplace. Madeline McGovern chose Cornelia Blakemore Warner and Worcester Reed Warner for their “long life of philanthropy” and because they “knew how important a public library for both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow would be for the people living here…” The Warners and Nathan Cobb now join Cornelia Beekman, Minna Irving, Washington Irving, John C. Fremont, Amanda Foster, and others in the Hall of Fame display of framed essays at the Library.
The annual essay contest brings the Library, the Historical Society, the Writers’ Center, and the two villages together to give high school students the opportunity to learn about local history and a chance to win a monetary prize for literary accomplishment.