1.To enter the competition you must     first have registered by June 16th, 2017.

   2. You must register for Great Towns, Inc., to be able to communicate with you over the summer when you are doing research and conducting interviews to include in your essay.


   3. The deadline for the essay to be turned in is the Friday after Labor Day, September 8, 2017. You may submit your completed essay by email or it can be snail-mailed. It must be postmarked or time-marked by MIDNIGHT. Sorry, no exceptions.

   4. To begin your essay, first choose one of the three historic buildings selected to be your subject. The buildings are as follows:

           - the Koerner Building in Birdseye,

           - the Mehling Building on Main  St.                    in Ferdinand,

           - the Durcholz Building on Main St.                in Ferdinand.

   5.  Your essay should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words long. Use a 12-point standard and double-space your text.

Please cite ALL YOUR SOURCES whether internally or externally (i.e. interviews and research ) using MLA style.

  6. You need not tell the entire history of the building, but include some interesting stories or facts and include these topics:

  • When was the building built and what is the style of architecture?

  • What was the building used for originally and/or at various points in time? (Be specific in your reporting.)



7. Name THREE recognizable architectural features of your building using newly learned terms to identify them. (For example: gable windows, portico, Eastlake carved doors — for books that can help you identify special features ask your librarian to see the books and pamphlets provided by Great Towns, Inc. and Indiana Landmarks.)

8.  You may learn more about the building by going to the Assessor’s Office at the County Courthouse in Jasper, by interviewing older townspeople or relatives who can share facts and/or tell anecdotal stories about the building and people who worked or lived there, and by searching through old newspapers, yearbook photo albums, scrap books, etc. Every building has stories to tell—so try to play detective and uncover as many as you can! Then, follow and tell us the most interesting one!

9.  After you have a grasp on the history of the building, start thinking about the FUTURE, and what your building could become! Think about and share your best ideas on:

  • What could be done to preserve it to the way it once looked?

  • What kind of business or businesses could be housed there?

  • What kind of business would you like to see come to Ferdinand and Birdseye?

  • Use your imagination and be as descriptive as possible. There are no limits.

 will help you make your essay into a video that will be seen by the whole town ! You could be famous!

11. The deadline for the essay contest is the Friday after Labor Day, September 8, 2017. Completed essays must be submitted by email or U.S. Postal Service to:



     If These Walls Could Talk-

     C/O Great Towns, Inc.

     P.O. Box 30262

     Indianapolis, IN 46230

 12.  A team of judges will select from 1 to FOUR Finalists for the essay competition. Each will receive a Smartphone as a prize and be asked to read their essay at a public celebration. The Finalists will then choose a student partner to assist in making his/her essay into a video.

 13.  Great Towns, Inc. experts will provide technical assistance and a workshop to help Finalists make their videos.

 14.  The videos will later be projected on the windows of a well-known building in the community, and the public will be asked to vote for their favorite. The winning team will receive two complimentary nights at a famous historic  Victorian Bed & Breakfast, The Nestle Inn, in the heart of the thriving Massachusetts Avenue historic district in Indianapolis, a private historic architectural tour provided by Indiana Landmarks and a $500.00 (each) Scholarship to the post-secondary or higher education institution of their choice!

10.  As you write your essay, Collect images if you can or take some photos because if your essay is selected as a finalist, an expert from Great Towns, Inc.,

If These Walls Could Talk Contest Guidelines : Ferdinand, IN (2017)




  • Facebook Basic Black
  • Twitter Basic Black