Each year the Arlington Historical Society, in collaboration with Cherrydale-Columbia Masonic Lodge 42, sponsors an essay contest to encourage student writing about the history of Arlington. Our 2022 essay contest is open to students in grades 8-12 and focuses on this topic:

Arlington was once a rural area but has now developed into an urban community with modern infrastructure and population density. Amid this ongoing change, how can we Arlingtonians remember and preserve our history? In what ways has Arlington successfully preserved its history that can help guide us in the future?


  • All Grade 8-12 students in Arlington are eligible to participate.
  • Essays must include a cover sheet with the student’s name, school, grade and essay title.
  • The deadline for submission is Friday, June 30th, and essays should be submitted by that date to AHSedlink@gmail.com. Essays received after this date will not be considered.

Essays will be judged by an Arlington Historical Society committee using the following criteria:

  • Essays should be written in English and run between 1,500-2,000 words.
  • Essays must discuss how Arlington can preserve our history and provide an example(s from Arlington of that effort.
  • Essays must be cogently written and use accepted English form for an historical essay (e.g. footnotes, bibliography, etc).
  • Essays should reflect in-depth research using multiple sources. The Arlington Historical Society website: www.arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org and the Center for Local History are suggested starting points for research.
  • Essays may include embedded photos, but this is not required.

Awards will include the following categories:

  • 1 st Place: $1,000. The winning essay will be featured on the arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org website and published in The Arlington Historical Magazine.
  • 2nd Place: $500
  • 3rd and 4th places: $250 each

One of the missions of the Arlington Historical Society is to encourage research and writing about the history of Arlington County. We hope many of you will participate, and we look forward to reading your submissions. Questions regarding the essay should be sent to apscathy@gmail.com.