The 2023 Wadleigh Award Competition

An essay based competition funded by the Albert P. Wadleigh Trust and managed by the Trustees of the Merrimac Public Library.

Eligibility: Entrants must be a senior high school student enrolled in a certified school AND a resident of Merrimac, Massachusetts. If homeschooled, the student must provide the name of the school system that has authorized their home school status.

Deadline for Submission: All entrees must be submitted on or before Friday, April 14, 2023. Please include a completed registration form along with your essay. A registration form can be found on the Merrimac Public Library Website, wadleigh-registration.pdf, on the Pentucket Naviance site, or a hard copy may be picked up at the public library. All registration forms and essays should be emailed to or dropped off in-person at the Merrimac Public Library.

Selection: Exam results will be reviewed and judged by the Trustees of Merrimac Public Library. The trustees reserve the right to award or withhold the prize based on a minimum standard of performance.

Award: One prize of $1,000 (one-thousand dollars).

Notification: Entrants will be notified of their award status by email.

Essay Requirements: Entrants should write their essay based solely on the 36 page publication titled Merrimac Historic Trail Guide published in 2007 by the Merrimac Historical Commission, and by responding to the prompt below. (Copies of the publication are available to borrow from the Merrimac Public Library, the Pentucket High School Library, and the Pentucket High School Counseling Department. Copies are also available for purchase at the Merrimac Public Library for $20.)

PROMPT: Mr. Wadleigh stated in his bequest to create the Albert P. Wadleigh Award that the purpose of the award was to have students “… realize that what is now the Town of Merrimac, Massachusetts from its first settlement … to the present time, has a history well worth being studied and preserved.” Drawing on what you have learned from the Merrimac Historic Trail Guide, use concrete historical and personal insights to compose an essay that describes several of the most important topics and events in Merrimac’s long and rich history that demonstrates to you that Merrimac “has a history well worth being studied and preserved.” The essay should be well-organized, clear, grammatically correct, and approximately 500-600 words (2 – 2 ½ pages).

Students are allowed and encouraged to have a teacher proofread the essay for recommendations with grammar and content.