Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Piece Of Iowa History Comes Home

The coin has "Poweshiek County 125th Anniversary" and the dates 1843 and 1968 on it.
Every once in a while I get an actual "snail mail" letter from someone. They usually are even hand written. So, for any of you out there wondering- yes, people still do send letters. It's actually 100% more fun and meaningful than e-mail, and I would say a lot more intentional as well. Anyway.....

This letter comes to me Monday afternoon and has an odd weight to it. I opened it to find the coin pictured today along with a letter from a blog reader here. Basically, here's the gist of the story.....

This coin was minted as part of a 125th Anniversary of Poweshiek County, which Montezuma, Iowa is the county seat. The court house is depicted on the one side and on the other side are these words: "Good For 50c in trade redeemable at Centennial Headquarters July 20, 1968".

Now how it got into my hands is the really amazing part of the story. A reader here, we'll call him "Mr. T" for the purposes of this story, lives in Montana. He wrote to me to say that he found the coin while riding outside of Helena, Montana. He noticed the glint of something shiny mixed in with the gravel along the edge of the road, so he stopped to investigate. Here was this coin. Obviously Mr T pocketed it and decided that I might have an interest in it. So, he sent it off to me with a hand written letter. He stated he didn't know if I'd ever been to Powesiek County or Montezuma, but since I was from Iowa, I might be interested.

Ironically, as you long time readers know, I have been to Poweshiek County on numerous occasions for Trans Iowa and to ride on that county's excellent gravel roads. I've also been to Montezuma several times, mostly on Trans Iowa business or as part of the event, since it was a checkpoint for v8 and this year as a pass through town. Also noteworthy is that it has been exactly 50 years since the celebration which is commemorated by the coin. So, yes, this actually seems like it "should be". The coin has somehow found its way back to Iowa.

This might seem a little odd to share here, but the coin was found while bicycle riding, and both Mr. T and I are cyclists, so I think it's appropriate. What becomes of the coin after this point, I am not sure. We'll see what is most appropriate. I just think it is amazing this even happened. Thanks "Mr. T"!

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