NATOMA — The Natoma Lions Club recently sponsored the second annual Legends of Natoma Essay and Photography Contest in an effort to preserve the history of the small rural community for future generations. Numerous entries were received, once again proving Natoma is a place of history, both old and new.

The goal of each contest is simple, yet distinct. The essay contest seeks to preserve stories unique for future generations; stories about people and places that might not make regular history books, but set Natoma apart from other communities.

The photo contest seeks to preserve the ongoing story of Natoma for future generations.

It is the hope for future generations to look back and be inspired by the people and places recorded through essays and photography; and to be inspired to record and preserve their own history.

The first- and second-place winner of the 2015 essay contest was Orville Pruter as he re-told true happenings in and around the Natoma community prior to the year 2000: “Riding the School Bus” and “Eating Ice Cream.”

The winners of the 2015 photography contest, depicting life in and around Natoma between March 1, 2014, and March 1, 2015, was Ronda Hitschmann’s photo of her grandson looking through playground equipment, and Deb Maupin placing second with her Christmas photograph of two area children.

The essays and photographs are on display in the Natoma Heritage Museum, open each Friday, or by appointment.

Nick Schwien is managing editor at The Hays Daily News.