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Minda Burling photo ID contest begins

COLFAX — The 150th birthday party is over, but the banners hanging from the lampposts on Main Street in Colfax will feature photographs from that long history for a while yet.

As part sponsors of the banners with the Colfax Village Board, the Colfax Woman’s Club is sponsoring a contest for area residents.

Cash prizes will be awarded to people who can identify the most photos in the banners. The contest is named after long-time village teacher and Woman’s Club member, Minda Burling.

Minda Burling’s daughter, Jean Burling Alf, presented the contest at the Colfax Sesquicentennial Kickoff July 17 at Tower Park.

Minda Burling was a descendent of the first settlers.  She taught school for years, most of those years in a one-room schoolhouse.

“She loved all her students and was so proud of all their accomplishments,” said Jean Alf.  “She spent countless hours volunteering on church committees, local and state Women’s Club groups, 4-H and Girl Scout groups. She was a Sunday school teacher, was actively involved in raising awareness and money for the first nursing home in Colfax and helped with many other committees for the benefit of Colfax and its residents.  Minda loved God, her family, and her friends in Colfax — her hometown,” Alf said.

The 65 photos on the banners show street scenes and businesses from the past. They range from horse drawn tobacco wagons and a busy passenger train depot, to recreational pastimes no longer available locally, like ski jumping on a nearby farm and log rolling in Mirror Lake.

Clues to the date and subject matter of the photos are included in reference notebooks at the Colfax Public Library, and contest entry forms are available there.

Local author and historian Troy Knutson has published a book on Colfax history, and all photos are included in that book.

The deadline for turning in banner contest answers is Monday, August 25, at 5 p.m. at the Colfax Public Library.

Winners will be selected on the basis of total correct identifications and will be announced at the Colfax Firefighters’ Ball parade on Saturday, September 6.

In the event of a tie, winners will be selected by drawing names from a hat.