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NCHS announces photo contest winners

This collage is a sampling of some of the photos chosen as top 3 winners in their respective categories in a recent Nobles County Historical Society photo contest.1 / 5
This photo depicting a lunch break on a Nobles County farm won the overall grand prize in the Nobles County Historical Society's recent photo contest. (Special to The Globe)2 / 5
A photo depicting more than a dozen farmers helping one another won second place in the Nobles County Historical Society's photo contest rural life category. (Special to The Globe)3 / 5
This photo taken by photographer Henry Blume of a soapbox derby is the reserve grand prize winner of a recent Nobles County Historical Society photo contest. (Special to The Globe)4 / 5
This photo of a family holding Rushmore pennants during a trip to Blue Mounds won third place in a NCHS photo contest. (Special to The Globe)5 / 5

WORTHINGTON — The results are in.

The Nobles County Historical Society has announced the winners of its photo contest, which was coordinated to build its collection of post-1930 photographs from across the county.

The historical society’s only photo contest since its first in 1936 included categories that depict rural, town and family life of times past across the county. The dozen winners were whittled down from a selection of approximately 400 unique, unseen photos the NCHS was able to collect and digitize as a result of the contest.

In the rural life category winners included: “Lunch Break,” first place and overall grand prize, submitted by Valerie Hubbard of Worthington; “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” second; Dennis Hibma of Worthington; and “Work Break,” third, Dwayne Wienrank of Worthington.

In the town life category, winners included: “Soapbox Derby,” first and reserve grand prize, submitted by Jana Christensen of Bozeman, Mont.; “Turkey Day,” second, Kathi Erlandson of Burnsville; and “Philgas Business,” third, Diane Otero of Worthington.

In the family life category, the winners are: “School Days,” first, Paul VanderKooi of Worthington; “News Boys,” second, Don Larson of Arnolds Park, Iowa; and “Fishing on Lake Okabena,” third, Diane Otero of Worthington.

While the contest was geared toward photos from around the 1930s to the 1970s, the NCHS was equally as pleased to receive more unique photos from prior to the 1930s. Winners of that category include: “Threshing Break,” first, Dennis Hibma of Worthington; “Local Youth,” second, and “Family Trip to Blue Mounds, third. The second- and third-place photos were submitted by Diane Otero.

Individuals will have an opportunity to view winning and non-winning photos alike during a slideshow presentation at the NCHS’ April 28 annual meeting. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. in the Worthington Area YMCA’s Community Room.

According to NCHS volunteer Jerry Fiola, the winners have been invited to share whatever information they have about their submitted photos at the public annual meeting.

“The more information we can gather about the backstory, the more it creates significance from the standpoint of historical preservation,” Fiola said.

Fiola said the photos weren’t solely judged on the quality of the photograph, but also given consideration to how iconic the photo was of the time period it depicted.

NCHS Volunteer Paul Hoffman said many individuals were apologetic upon bringing in old photographs, not thinking they were worth anything.

But to the volunteers, that was the farthest thing from the truth.

“Nowadays you got a little iPhone,” Hoffman said of the technology advancement that allows anyone to take and store thousands of photographs in their pocket. “What’s happening is all these older people who took these photographs are passing and the photos are being thrown at an alarming rate. They’re thrown in dumpsters and are on garage sales.”

Hoffman said despite the contest drawing to a close, the historical society remains continuously interested in adding photos to its collection.

“If you don’t want boxes of pictures, bring them to us and we’ll take care of them,” he said. “Because when those pictures are gone, they’re gone.”

Any of the contest photos may be viewed during the historical society’s normal hours, 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays at 407 12th St., Suite 2, Worthington.