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Date(s) - 05/09/2023 - 06/30/2023
All Day


The Arlington Historical Society, in partnership with Cherrydale-Columbia Lodge 42, is pleased to announce the 2023 student historical writing contest. The topic for the essay this year is:

One hundred years from now, what do you think will be the most enduring significance of the Arlington House estate.  Explain in detail and include why you believe it will be significant.

The Arlington House estate has played a prominent role in both Arlington and national history.  From its early connections to the Custis family and George Washington, its inhabitancy by Robert E. Lee, its enslaved population who became some of the first families of Arlington, its role as the site of a Freedman’s Village, and its role as the site of a national cemetery, the estate has been interwoven with the events of the past three centuries.

  • All Grade 8-12 students in Arlington are eligible to participate.
  • The essay must include a cover sheet with the student’s name, school, grade and essay title.

DEADLINE for submission: Friday, June 30, 2023

Submit essays to

  • Essays received after this date will not be considered.
  • Questions regarding the essay contest should be emailed to

Essays will be judged by an Arlington Historical Society committee.  The essay MUST:

  • Discuss a significant event at the Arlington House estate and provide reasons for its enduring significance
  • Be written in English and run between 1,500-2,000 words
  • Cogently written and use accepted English form for an historical essay (e.g. footnotes, bibliography, etc)
  • Reflect in-depth research using multiple sources. The Arlington Historical Society and the Center for Local History at Central Library websites are suggested starting points for research
  • The essay may include embedded photos, but it is not required.


  • 1st Place:  $1,000.00. Essay will be published in “The Arlington Historical Magazine” and featured on the Arlington Historical Society website.
  • 2nd Place: $500.00
  • 3rd Place: $250.00
  • Honorable Mention: $100.00

A key mission of the Arlington Historical Society is to encourage research and writing about the history of Arlington County. We hope many Arlington students will participate, and we look forward to reading each entryQuestions regarding the essay should be sent to