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Women’s Club extends banner contest until Halloween

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Although the original deadline for the Colfax Women’s Club Minda Burling Banner Contest was set for September 6, the contest deadline has now been extended until Halloween.

The contest involves identifying the photographs printed on the new banners along Main Street that were installed shortly before for the Colfax Sesquicentennial celebration in July.

The Colfax Village Board, along with a contribution from the Colfax Women’s Club, purchased the 22 banners that feature photographs depicting 150 years of Colfax history.

As part sponsors of the banners, the Colfax Women’s Club is holding a contest for area residents to identify the pictures.

Cash prizes will be awarded of $50 for first place, $30 for second place and $20 for third place to individuals or teams of people who can identify the most photographs.

The contest is named for long-time village resident, teacher and Women’s Club member Minda Burling.

For most of her years as a teacher, Minda Burling taught in a one-room schoolhouse.

“She loved all her students and was so proud of all their accomplishments,” said daughter Jean Alf.

Alf presented the banner contest at the Colfax Sesquicentennial Kick-off in Tower Park on July 17.

“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.

Minda Burling also was active in planning the Colfax Centennial celebration in 1964, she noted.

The 65 photographs on the banners show street scenes, people 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, which was located east of the state Highway 40 bridge on Main Street in the area currently occupied by Eighteen Mile Creek.

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 at the library as well.

Colfax historian Troy Knutson has published a book on Colfax history, “Looking Through the Lens,” and all of the photos on the banners are included in Knutson’s book.

Pat Eggert, contest coordinator for the Colfax Women’s Club, said she encourages teams of parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren to enter the Minda Burling Banner Contest.

The deadline for turning in banner contest entries is Friday, October 31, at 5 p.m. at the Colfax Public Library.

Winners will be selected on the total number of correctly identified photographs.