Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Centennial Correction

In a posting six weeks ago we reported the Northwood Centennial was in 1953, and later got questioned on that by Richard Holstad, who said it was the County Centennial in '53 and Northwood celebrated theirs in '58.

Since then Glenn Kittleson ('65) has confirmed Northwood was '58 by forwarding these photos of a Centennial coin about the size of a 50-cent piece he has hung on to for the last 50 years.  The questions that spring from it include: 

Was the coin a fund-raiser, a purchased token that was redeemable through a purchase locally, thereby driving some sales for the merchants?  

Is the 50-cent discount still available today?

What's with the hole in the coin?

Was it heavy?

How many more of these souvenirs might be hidden away in homes all around Northwood?

How many got tossed at the end of the centennial?

Why did Glenn keep his?

Food for thought on all of this, first, that it takes all kinds of marketing schemes to raise money for a local event like this, and a widespread commitment from numerous individuals, including business owners, entrepreneurs, and historians in this case.  (We're reminded of a possibly apocryphal story told by our current state representative that a bridge was built across the St Croix River into Minnesota in the early 1900's by local businessmen selling buttons for 25 or 50 cents each.  Even then it would require an enormous number of buttons sold, but the strategy may well have helped with the funding.)  So we salute those who came up with the concept, and even moreso the folks who carried out the scheme.

Secondly, how many silver dollars - or half-dollars - do you see in circulation anymore, whether the original silver dollar, Kennedy half-dollar, Susan B Anthony, or anything similar? They're rarely seen.

But the last, perhaps larger thought, is that we're pleased to hear from Richard that his recent communication with Glenn has been reinvigorated by this blog.  "The '62 Blog does bring old friends back together again," Richard says.

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