The YN Corner
"A New Day for Collectors"
Alaskan Token: "Kukak Bay Cannery"
FROM YOUR EDITORS
This year’s picnic was a classic good time. As we predicted the weather cooperated: a light breeze kept the hummingbird-size mosquitoes away not a drop of rain fell. Bill’s professional BBQ grill worked perfect. The dogs and burgers and hot links and teriyaki beef and chicken all cooked up well. There was plenty of food for everyone.
It was great to see the Robucks and the Bilaks and the Samorajskis all getting involved in the activities. We sent the kids off scavenging for leaves and flowers with a mint set for each kid as a prize. Bracken fern turned out to be the tough item to find. There were plenty of it on the far side of the park. It may have been fear of the deadly brown bear encounters we had there this spring. Eventually all 18 kids completed the scavenger hunt and got to choose a mint set and no one was eaten by the bear.
After eating more food we had the “Who Wants The Gold” Jeopardy game. The young numismatists took a test where they had to put the changes to the Seated Liberty series in order from the first to the last. The fastest three YN’s competed for the year 2000 one quarter ounce gold eagle. It came down to Sarah Bilak competing against two of the Samorajski brothers.
There was a long stressful battle with the lead changing several times. But in the end, after the last question was answered, amazingly all three contestants were locked in a tie! Larry had them draw a number out of a hat to break the tie and Brandon Samorajski got the gold. His brother, Jonathan, got the 1992 silver proof set, and Sarah got third place: the 1976 clad proof set. We could not feel sorry for Sarah however. After all she had just come back from a club sponsored trip to the ANA Summer Conference in Colorado Springs (see YN Corner) and it was purely the luck of the draw that kept her from winning the gold.
As things started to wrap up we drew for the raffle prize: an 1884-CC Morgan Dollar in PCGS MS64. It was won by member Charles Lucas. Afterwards we cleaned up the place, handed out leftovers, and loaded up Bill’s BBQ grill. And everyone went home with the satisfaction that comes with a great coin club summer picnic.
The August membership meeting was well attended. President Bill Hamilton presided over the meeting and the first thing we did was give Charles Lucas a 1980 Proof Set for the door prize. Then we drew Steve Mead’s name for the membership prize: a rare Alaska Mint Pattern struck in silver.
Bill was new at running the meetings but we got through 12 lots in the
bullet auction including a single lot of six Alaska tokens. Then
member Mark Nagy introduced an interesting and educational video on grading
MS coins. It was a long tape and most people left before it was over.
We learned something from it though - marks in the focus area of the coin
are serious….Your Editors.
Schedule of Events for the Month of September
Minutes of the August 16th Board Meeting
The Anchorage Coin Club Board meeting was called to order at 7:20 PM.
First order of business was discussion of coin shows in the “works” for the remainder of this year. Don Thurber is organizing a coin show scheduled for the Northway Mall on October 14th and 15th. Fees will be $40 for each table. Don Thurber can be contacted for tables.
Both Don Thurber and Bill Hamilton will be planning additional coin shows for November and possibly December.
The remainder of the meeting focused on getting our coin club back to a normal routine now that Summer is coming to an end.
September 6th will see our next membership meeting at the Central Lutheran Church. Member Mark Nagy is planning to give a presentation on “Modern Commemoratives”. We will have a Bid Board planned for this meeting. Bill will be querying our membership on the issue of whether or not we should continue a Bid Board at our club meetings. At this time we are alternating our club meeting between a Bid Board and Bullet Coin Auction every other month.
Larry Nakata stated that September 8th (the 2nd Friday of the month) will see the resumption of our YN meetings. The Sept. 8th meeting will feature a VHS tape on “Money-History in Your Hands”. Following the meeting, Larry will be discussing the subject of “How to Take Care of Your Coins and Paper Currency”.
The Board then went over agendas for meetings planned for October, November, and December. Robert Hall will be organizing the presentation for our club’s October 4th membership meeting. Robert is planning a contest for our club members attending that meeting….with prize being a one year free membership to the person winning this contest.
Our coin club’s Christmas Party/ Membership Meeting/ YN Meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7th at the Central Lutheran Church. In keeping with our club’s tradition, this will be a potluck Christmas party with our Christmas Coin Auction planned for that evening. After some discussion, the Board has decided to charge a 5% seller’s fee for coin lots sold at the Christmas Coin Auction.
As a final agenda item, the Board discussed ways in which we can target expanding our membership…. specifically from the military bases in Anchorage.
As there was no further business, the Board meeting adjourned at 8:05
Chief Editor’s Note: Now that YN Sarah Bilak is back from the ANA Summer Conference in Colorado Springs, I asked Sarah to write an article to be posted in “The YN Corner” of her experience at the conference. Here it is:
“THE YN CORNER” by YN Sarah Bilak (Member # 177)
I would like to first begin by thanking everyone who made it possible for me to go to the 2000 summer ANA seminar. Thank you very much! This was my first time ever really leaving Alaska, let alone flying by myself. So everything that happened to me was really new and I was in a kind of culture shock. Some of the people down there would actually believe me when I said I lived in an igloo and had a dog sled team that would take me everywhere. However, most people knew when I was joking. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone.
The weather down there was beautiful. I had never been in weather that warm before where the temperatures could get up to 90 degrees really easy. The first day I was there they took us on a tour of the ANA Museum. Our tour was led by Robert Hoge. He also taught the class on Coins of the Ancient World. He also did an excellent job covering every coin in deep detail in every exhibit. Afterward I met my roommates Sarah Campbell, who is the ANA president’s daughter, and Cherylin Izuo from Hawaii. It was good to meet another fellow outlander.
The class that I took was America’s Colonial Coinage and Paper Money. I took this class because I wanted to learn something other than mass produced American coinage and because I was interested in all of the rich history that comes along with the colonial coins. The class was taught by Ken Bressett, editor of the Red Book, Tom Rinaldo, and the great authority on colonials, Eric Newman. They taught us straight from the Red Book which they were nice enough to give to everyone in the class and The Early Paper Money of America written by Eric Newman. They also used slides and personal stories of collecting in their youth. All three of my instructors were brilliant and covered colonials to the point that I soon realized that this is an expensive area of coinage to collect. However, it was extremely more interesting and rich in history.
The paper currency part of this class held more of an interest for me. There was something about Eric Newman teaching about the currency almost exclusively and the fact that it was paper money that just seemed to keep me wanting to learn more. When all was said and done everyone who had been in the colonial class had come out with a greater appreciation for colonials and a simple feeling of awe over Eric’s teaching skills. I may never have the money to collect those coins, but I can still cut out the pictures and put them in my collection.
The tour to Pike’s Peak with an elevation of 14,110 feet reminded me of Alaska. The ride to the top was long but the wait was definitely worth it. Along the way we saw mountain sheep and prairie dogs along with lots of trees and rocks…big rocks. The temperature at the top of Pike’s Peak was a whopping 46 degrees, which again reminded me of Alaska. While everyone was bundled up like it was the end of the world, I was fine in my T-shirt and jeans. The view was beautiful and the air was thin, which made for an interesting experience.
The other tour to the Denver Mint was informative and gave me a sense of how very far people will go to smuggle errors out of the mint. We were not allowed to have any change with us in the mint, or to bend over to pick anything up, or take any pictures. We got to see the minting process and all of the errors that were made. The thing that amazed me the most was security. If you bought anything at the gift shop and you got change, your purchase would be given to you when you left the mint. But leaving the mint was easier said than done. Before going through the metal detector I was asked to take my sandals off, necklaces, nametag, and then walk through again. After that, they went over me with a metal detector wand. These people were very serious about not letting anything out. However, besides the “little” security check, the Mint was an exciting and informative experience.
The last day was in my opinion the best. There were better friendships made and bigger water balloons thrown. I don’t think anyone slept. We were too busy talking and comparing differences. For example, in Weableau, Montana they call soda…”pop”. It was little things like that and finding out that squirrels eat peppermints that made this an incredible experience and made me wonder why I was a little apprehensive to go at first. But now that everything is said and done I would once again like to thank everyone who made it possible for me to go and experience this wonderful part of coin collecting. I hope that at one point all of the YNs will have the same opportunity to do what I just did. Thank you!!
Oh and whomever is going next year….pack water balloons and watch out for the campus security. They like to have fun too……Sarah Bilak.
Final Chief Editor’s Note:
I just wanted to remind all of the YNs that we will be resuming our YN
meetings effective September 8th at the Central Lutheran Church. See you
A NEW DAY FOR COLLECTORS by Scott Hornal (Member # 52)
As some of you may recall, in some of my previous articles I have been a little less than kind to some of the new issues offered by the Mint from an “investment” point of view. And for the most part, this still holds true. However, in viewing the remarkable job the Mint has been doing in promoting our fine hobby, I am forced to step back and give them a round of applause. It’s about time the Mint finally came around and learned something that the Post Office and stamp collectors have known and enjoyed for years: a vigorous and healthy supply of new collecting opportunities (new issues) + an efficient and effective marketing plan = A happy collecting community!
I am glad to see the Mint finally has managed to pull its stodgy head out of the sand and see the light of a new day. A few years back, I remember reading in many of the coin publications various letters and columns of “old-timer” collectors who wondered where the next generation of collectors will come from, how our coin club attendance was on the decline, etc. As it stands now, those fears have been laid to rest. The influx of new collectors appear to be staggering, also maybe re-igniting the collecting bug of some older collectors who may have fallen by the wayside.
All-in-all, a fine job which I don’t think could have been handled any better. Let’s hope the Mint doesn’t over-do it by letting it go to their head. I really don’t care for all the “Golden-Dollar” controversy being talked about these days over the Sacagawea Dollar or all the various set possibilities of the State Quarters. I’m not buying this stuff for investment anyway. But, at least people are talking, either Pro or Con and in the long run it has to be a good thing. At least its getting people interested in taking a stand in their collecting interests. The Mint has a real opportunity to nurse this current market for many years to come assuming the collecting public doesn’t get “turned-off” by perceived price-gouging, flooding the market, etc.
One of your editors and contributors, Mike Nourse, has written many good articles comparing true “rarity” vs. the current “flavor of the day” offering in your weekly coin publication. His analysis in many cases is dead-on: Collect what you like and collect true rarity, regardless of what is popular at the moment. The new issues may excite people for awhile, but eventually you need to pick an area of focus and build something meaningful that will have lasting value and desirability.
You young collectors take heart, the collecting possibilities are limitless these days. And our Mint is making sure that our hobby is offered many new and exciting issues. But it is up to you to keep a sane head and remember what is important to you in your collecting adventure. Our hobby is one that can last you a significant portion of your lifetime. Many other collecting opportunities will no doubt be offered to you in the years to come. Remember, the really once in a lifetime deals rarely come around or are publicized in large one-page ads. In fact, many items you may have on your want lists you may spend several years trying to locate, much less purchase.
So in conclusion, let’s all applaud the Mint on a job well done and
for reinvigorating the collecting community. Any promotion is a good thing
in my opinion. The INTEREST in collecting is what I am glad to see increase.
The vehicles the Mint is using right now to interest us may be dubious
to some, but it is getting the job done……Scott Hornal.
KUKAK BAY CANNERY by Kaye Dethridge (Member # 98)
Kukak Bay is on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula in Katmai National Park and Preserve according to the Dictionary of Alaska Place Names. The park is across from Kodiak Island and about 290 miles southwest of Anchorage.
A 1951 publication by the Alaska Department of Fisheries, compiled by Lewis G. McDonald, states the Hemrich Packing Co. was built in 1924. He goes on to state the company leased it the following year to the Seashore Packing Co. Hemrich Packing Co. operated the cannery in 1928. The following year, 1929, the cannery was again leased to the Seashore packing Co. In 1932 the cannery was taken over and operated by the Pioneer Packing Co. The lease was terminated in 1933 and the plant was closed.
In an article titled “Alaskan Treasure“ in “Alaskan Sportsman”, March 1968, Irven Palmer Jr. stated he found five Hemrich Packing Co. tokens at Swikshak, a site 25 miles from the cannery. The denominations of these were 2 ten-dollar pieces, 1 one-dollar piece and 1 fifty-cent piece. The fifth token was apparently a duplicate of one of these denominations. He said some were buried only three inches deep.
In the sixties Alaska token collecting was relatively new. The information for the listing of the Hemrich Packing Co. tokens in the second edition of “Alaska’s Coinage through the Years” was acquired from a Seattle collector and very few, possibly only 3 or 4 of the five dollar denomination and 1 five cent denomination were known. Kodiak collector Sid Urie acquired a few of these tokens, all dug, and he used them for trading.
Tokens from the Seashore Packing Co. and Pioneer Packing Co. also appeared
with the Hemrich tokens. The leasing of the cannery by Hemrich to these
two companies accounts for the two issues of tokens being found with the
Hemrich tokens. The number of tokens known now appears small as these do
not come on the market with any regularity. The aluminum tokens did not
hold up well but the five dollar and ten dollar denominations have survived
very well and hardly show signs of having been buried. Most of the examples
of the three larger denominations are counterstamped. The few I have
seen have the counterstamp of SPC with different numbers stamped
on the tokens. The counterstamping also seems more prevalent on the denominations
of $1.00, $5.00 and the $10.00. Perhaps with the leasing by Hemrich to
the Seashore Packing Co. the initials SPC may stand for the Seashore Packing
Company. The significance of the numbering is still anybody’s guess. It
is now known that the set contains 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c and $1.00 tokens,
all in aluminum, the $5.00 in brass and the $10.00 in both brass and copper.
The token illustrated in this article is 38mm. Possibly one or two complete
sets are known. All are still extremely scarce…….Kaye Dethridge / Box
467/ Ocean Park, WA/ 98640/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Archivist/ Photographer
The Anchorage Coin Club is a non-profit organization formed to provide information, education, and a meeting place for individuals having an interest in numismatics.
Correspondence Address: Anchorage Coin Club, P.O. Box 230169, Anchorage,
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