Search This Blog

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

207) America the Beautiful Quarters (7) – 2016 Seventh Annual Quarters set being issued by the US Mint:

207) America the Beautiful Quarters (7) – 2016 Seventh Annual Quarters set being issued by the US Mint:

This is the seventh year in the “America the Beautiful Quarters programme” which was launched in 2010. Every year five quarters are issued featuring five different National Parks or National sites. The Series is expected to run through 2021 with a total of 56 different coins featuring a site for each US State, US Territory and the District of Columbia, presented in the order in which these Parks/sites were federally designated. I have put up posts on each of the previous year issues i.e. 2010, 2011, 2012, 21013, 2014 and 2015, the links of which are given at the bottom of this Post.

The 2016 coins commemorate Shawnee National Forest (Ill.), Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (Ky.), Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (W.Va.), Theodore Roosevelt National Park (N.D.) and Fort Moultrie at Fort Sumter National Monument (S.C.).

The details of the five designs selected for 2016, representing the 31st to 35th overall coin releases are as under:

31) Shawnee National Forest (Illinois):

Shawnee National Forest is located in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills of southern Illinois. It is the single largest publicly owned body of land in the State of Illinois. It covers 280,000 acres or 1100 sq km. of forest land in parts of Pope, Jackson, Union, Hardin, Alexander, Saline, Gallantin, Johnson and Massac counties. The Forest headquarters is located in Harrisburg, Illinois, with local Ranger offices in Jonesboro and Vienna.

In September 1939, it was declared as the Shawnee National Forest when the purchase units of Illini and Shawnee were combined together to create the Forest. The Forest has seven officially designated wilderness areas that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System – Bald Knob Wilderness, Bay Creek Wilderness, Burden Falls Wilderness, Clear Springs Wilderness, Garden of the Gods Wilderness, Lusk Creek Wilderness and Panther Den Wilderness.

Interestingly, most of the land brought under the Forest area was exhausted farmland and during the 1930s and 1940s, several pine trees were planted to prevent erosion and to help rebuild the soil. The forest also has several hardwood trees and other animal and plant species, which are common to this area.

In the 1980s and 1990s, several ecological conservation groups and environmental groups/movements stressed upon the need for a more pro-active approach to build up the forest area.  Emanating from such moves, the Forest Service in 2006, in co-ordination with the environmental and public groups completed the development of a new Forest Management Plan for the Shawnee National Forest, which outlines the policies and practices which will be followed in the management of the forest over the next 10-15 years for maintaining and enhancing the forest’s unique bio-diversity. The Vision Statement encompasses protecting the eco-system in coordination with all concerned citizens and groups.

There are several places of interest in and around the Shawnee National forest including -  Little Grand Canyon (carved out by a tiny creek with a water-shed has carved out an impressive rock canyon, more than 200 feet deep), Big Muddy River (the Canyon leads down to this river), Cedar Lake (an artificial lake formed by damming the Cedar Creek) and Hicks dome (which is an igneous feature in Hardin County, Illinois, which is considered to be the result of a meteorite strike eons ago.
The coin:

This coin is the 31th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”.

The Reverse design depicts a close view of Camel Rock with natural vegetation in the foreground and a red-tailed hawk soaring in the sky overhead.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “SHAWNEE”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “ILLINOIS” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One among Many”) and the year of issue “2016”.

The Reverse has been designed by Justin Kunz and engraved by Jim Licaretz, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

32) Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, (Kentucky):

The Cumberland Gap is a sizeable natural break in the Appalachian Mountains. The Gap was long used by Native Americans as a hunting ground for several species of migratory animals, say wild deer and buffalo moving from the southern wintering grounds to their northern summer locations.

Around 1775, the Gap became the primary transit route for American settlers moving west into Kentucky (it is estimated that between 1775 and 1810, more than 300,000 settlers used the Gap in their quest for settling in the Old West). Two prominent families – Henley and Gibbons moved to the Brush Mountain to side-step the many changes that were taking place in the early 1900s. The community built up a church and school by the 1900s. Settlers maintained their pioneering life-styles until future generations began to move to other territories and brought about changes in the life-styles of their ancestors. (The Hensley Settlement which portrayed the early 20th century life-style of the community has been preserved by the Cumberland Gap National Park Service as representative of the early settler’s life-style on top of the Brush Mountain).

 The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is located at the border between Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. The Park lies in parts of Bell and Harlan counties in Kentucky, Claiborne County in Tennessee and Lee County in Virginia.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park covers 20,510 acres of land.

The Park preserves the natural beauty of the surrounding area while preserving its past heritage. Tours of the old Hensley settlement, trips to Gap Cave or “Cudjo’s Cave” (which was once used by travelling Indians and settlers), living history events, campfires and demonstrations of early settler’s life-styles, music festivals etc. are some of the popular features of the Park.

It has a Visitor Centre located on US Highway 25E south-east of Middlesboro, Kentucky and just north-west of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel and Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.  The centre has a museum which features stories/exhibits about the Gap’s role as a transportation corridor, apart from an auditorium which covers films about the Forest’s cultural and Natural History.

The coin:
This coin is the 32nd in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”.

The Reverse design shows a frontiersman gazing across the mountains to the West. Many pioneers used Cumberland Gap on their journey into the western frontiers of Kentucky and Tennessee.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “CUMBERLAND GAP”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “KENTUCKY” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One among Many”) and the year of issue “2016”. Also mentioned to the left of the Frontiersman’s image is “FIRST DOORWAY TO THE WEST”.

The Reverse has been designed by Barbara Fox and engraved by Joseph Menna, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

33) Harper’s Ferry National Park (West Virginia):

Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in and around Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. The park includes land in Jefferson County, Maryland and Loudoun County, Virginia.

It was originally designated as a National monument in 1944 and declared a National Historical Park in 1963 by the US Congress and was listed on the National Historical Register of Historic Places on 15.10.1966.

This region has Native American history dating back to over 8000 years ago. The Tuscarora people were the last of the Native Americans who were known to inhabit this area in notable numbers till the early 18th century, when disease and conflicts with European settlers claimed their land leading to their disappearance from these territories.

One of the European immigrants, Robert Harper, obtained a patent for the land from the Virginia Legislature in 1751 and began to operate a Ferry business. The settlement which came up around the Ferry was initially known as Shenandoah Falls. In 1785, George Washington visited the river’s confluence searching for a waterway to ship goods westward. He is credited with having begun the setting up of the Federal Harper’s Ferry Armoury utilising water-power from the rivers for manufacturing purposes within the Armoury.

The Lewis & Clark Expedition is said to have obtained its weaponry and associated hardware from the Armoury at Harper’s Ferry along with collapsible iron boat frames for the expedition. The Armoury was responsible for several upgrades and standardisation which went a long way in the development of the modern bullet in place of the round lead slugs used earlier. Between 1801 and 1860, the Armoury manufactured over half a million muskets and rifles.

Included in the Park is the historic town of Harper’s Ferry which was famous as a centre of 19th century industry and the place of the John Brown’s abolitionist uprising.

In 1859, John Brown led an armed group to capture the Armoury in an attempt to arm the slaves and lead them against US Forces in a rebellion to overthrow slavery. His rebellion was unsuccessful and a Marine force led by US Army Colonel Robert E. Lee captured him in the Armoury and he was hanged. His prophetic last words before he was executed were that a Civil War was looming on the horizon came true less than two years later. The most important building remaining from John Brown’s raid is the firehouse where he resisted the Marines which is now called “John Brown’s Fort”. 
The Civil War that ensued from 1861-1865 found Harpers’ Ferry armoury between the Union and confederate lines and Harper’s ferry and the armoury changed hands several times, resulting in the razing of the Armoury.

The original house built by Robert Harper is the oldest remaining structure in the Park. Several historical museums can be seen in restored 19th Century buildings in the Lower Town Historic District of Harper’s Ferry. The canal Ohio Canal which operated from 1828 to 1924 was an important waterway link with areas up and down-stream prior to the arrival and full-scale establishment of the railroad.

The Park comprises around 4000 acres of land and has several places of recreational interest which include the Lower Town points of interest where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac river – Restoration Museum, Frankel’s Clothing store, Industry Museum, Blacksmith shop, Arsenal Square, John Brown’s Fort, John Brown’s Museum, Wetlands Museum, Storer College/Niagara Movement Museum (Storer College was built in Harper’s Ferry as one of the first integrated schools in the USA. In 1906, the second Niagara Movement conference was held at the College to discuss ways to peacefully tackle “legalised” discrimination and segregation. In 1954, school segregation came to an end as a result of movements & pressure groups. The college ultimately closed down in 1955), A. Burton Clocks and Jewellery Exhibit, 1982 Battle of Harper’s Ferry Museum, Civil War Museum, Black Voices Museum, Whitehall Tavern, Meriwether Lewis Exhibit, Harper House, Jefferson Rock etc.

Apart from these, there are several facilities for fishing, boating, white-water rafting and hiking with the Appalachian Trail passes right through the Park.

The coin:

This coin is the 33rd in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”.

The Reverse depicts John Brown Fort, the site of John Brown’s last stand during his raid on the Harper’s Ferry Armoury.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “HARPER’S FERRY”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “WEST VIRGINIA” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One among Many”) and the year of issue “2016”.  Towards the lower centre is mentioned “JOHN BROWN’S FORT”.

The Reverse has been designed by Thomas Hipschen and engraved by Phebe Hemphill, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

34) Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota):

In 1883, Roosevelt (US President -1901-1909) first came to the North Dakota badlands to hunt bison. Later, he invested $14000 in the Maltese Cross Ranch about 7 miles South of Medora City. He followed this with building another Ranch the Elkhorn Ranch 35 miles north of Medora. He took great interest in his Ranches and hunting in the West, following it up with three publications – Ranch Life and the Hunting trail”, “Hunting Trips of a Ranchman” and “The Wilderness Hunter” which added an aura of adventure and excitement to ranch life and hunting in the badlands.

After Roosevelt passed away in 1919, serious interest was evinced in studying the Little Missouri Badlands for possible Park sites. Civilian Conservation Corps camps were established in two possible Park units from 1934 to 1941, with the Area being designated as the Roosevelt Recreation Demonstration Area in 1935.

In 1946, the location was transferred to the United States Fish and wildlife service as the “Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge” and established as the “Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park on 25.04.1947. It was the only National memorial park ever established in the USA. In 1978, the Park’s designation was changed to “Theodore Roosevelt National Park”.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park (named after US President Theodore Roosevelt) comprises 3 geographically separated areas of badlands in western North Dakota.

The Park covers an area of 70446 acres (or 111 sq miles or 286 sq. kms of land): the North Unit, the South Unit and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit.
The Little Missouri River flows through all 3 Units of the Park. Likewise, the Maah Daah trail connects all three Units.

The two main Units of the Park have scenic drives, horse and walking trails, wildlife viewing, back country hiking, horse-back riding and camping. The Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including bison, feral horses, elk, bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer, prairie dogs and around 200 species of birds including golden eagles, sharp-tailed grouse and wild turkeys. Roosevelt’s contribution to the conservation of USA’s Natural resources are memorialised in the Park. A museum at the south Unit Visitor centre gives the background of his ranching days, while his Maltese cross cabin is also a visitor’s attraction. Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch is also accessible to visitors.

The Coin:

This coin is the 34th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”. 

The Reverse design depicts a young Theodore Roosevelt on horseback surveying the terrain near the Little Missouri River.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “THEODORE ROOSEVELT”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “NORTH DAKOTA” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One among Many”) and the year of issue “2016”.

The Reverse has been designed by Joel Iskowitz and engraved by Phebe Hemphill, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

35) Fort Moultrie at Fort Sumter National Monument (South Carolina):

Fort Moultrie is a series of citadels on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, which were constructed to protect the city of Charleston. The first fort was built of palmetto logs, which inspired the flag and nickname of South Carolina – “The Palmetto State”.

The Fort is named after the commander in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, General William Moultrie.

Fort Moultrie is the only area of the National Park, where the entire 171 year history of American seacoast defence from 1776 to 1947 can be traced.

The Fort saw action in 1776 when a British fleet attacked it at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, when the soft palmetto logs absorbed the cannon shot or cannonball bounced off the Fort walls. William Moultrie and his 400 odd men fought back, heavily damaging the British Fleet in a day long battle with the British Fleet retreating in disarray. This victory greatly helped the cause of the Patriots.

Interestingly, during the battle, Moultrie flew his own version of a flag authorised by the Colonial Government which was nicknamed the “Moultrie flag” and became an iconic symbol to the Revolution in the South. The Fort was captured by the British in 1780 but was recaptured by the patriots in 1782.

A new Fort was built over the old one in 1798 by the US Army which made 19 other new forts along the Atlantic Coast for the defence of the sea-coast.

During the Civil War, when South Carolina ceded from the Union on 20.12.1860, Fort Moultrie was abandoned by the Union forces to garrison the much stronger nearby Fort Sumter which was shelled into submission by the Confederates leading to the beginning of the US Civil War 1861-1865. In April 1863, Union Ironclads and shore batteries heavily bombarded Fort Sumter reducing it to rubble and pounded Fort Moultrie located below a sand-hill which protected it from the bombardment which resisted the attack and Fort Moultrie stayed in confederate possession till February 1865 till the city of Charleston was evacuated.

In 1870s and 1880s, the Fort was modernised with its fortifications including gun batteries being shored up and continued to be active till after World War II.

On 15.08.1947, the Fort was used for the last time after 171 years of military service and decommissioned in 1960, when it Fort Moultrie was transferred to the National Park Service which manages the historic fort as a unit of Fort Sumter National Monument. The National Register of historic Places has listed Fort Moultrie as a “Quartermaster and Support Facilities Historic District” in its rolls on 06.09.2007.

This coin is the 35th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”. 

The Reverse design depicts Sergeant William Jasper returning the Regimental flag to the ramparts while under attack from a British ship.

On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “FORT MOULTRIE”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “SOUTH CAROLINA” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One among Many”) and the year of issue “2016”.

The Reverse has been designed by Richard Scott and engraved by Joseph Menna, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

The Obverses of all these coins will feature the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan. Also seen on the Obverse are the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, “LIBERTY”, “IN GOD WE TRUST” and QUARTER DOLLAR. The Mint marks “P” (Philadelphia), “D” (Denver) and “S” (San Francisco) will also appear on this face depending on the mint which has minted these coins – uncirculated sets (P & D) and proof sets (S).

The specifications of each of the coins in this coin set are:

Composition: 8.33% nickel, balance copper.         

 Weight: 5.67 gms. 

Diameter: 24.30 mm or 0.955 inch.


  1. Mita Banerjee has commented:
    "There's History & Geography all included!"

    1. So it is. That's what makes the study of coins & currencies so much more interesting. They represent landmarks in the history/making of a nation.