Essay contest aims to capture students’ local family history

By December 12, 2023December 14th, 2023In The News

Town Crier Report/Los Altos Town Crier

The Los Altos History Museum and the city of Los Altos are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest, aimed at students in grades 3-6.

The contest begins Jan. 8 and encourages students to explore their family’s pathway to California in the context of the museum’s exhibition “El Camino Real: Changing California.” The exhibition provides an opportunity for essay writers to step back in time and review the impact of the Spanish missions on Indigenous communities, the businesses that once lined “The Royal Road” and the continuing legacy of El Camino Real in modern California.

Students who enter the contest should have meaningful conversations with family members about…more.


The latest Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest focuses on the early days of El Camino Real. Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum.