More than 600 people braved high winds, a choppy Lake Erie and
unseasonably cold temperatures April 20 to attend the official launch
ceremony in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, for the 2013 Perry’s Victory and
International Peace Memorial quarter dollar.
The attendance was more than triple the number of year-round
residents normally found on South Bass Island, site of the village
hosting the event.
Because of extremely high winds and inclement weather the day of
the ceremony, Blanca Alvarez Stransky, the National Park Service’s
superintendent for the memorial, said April 19 the decision was made
that morning to move the ceremony indoors to the nearby Niagara Event
See Coin World’s five-minute YouTube
video from the April 20 ceremony at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr4F8AmkBa0.
Organizers anticipated a crowd not much more than the annual
residential count because of the difficulty in reaching the event site
(the island is accessible only by ferry boat or airplane). However,
organizers were proved wrong with a standing-room-only crowd.
Because a smaller crowd was anticipated, representatives from
First National Bank did not bring the bank’s entire allotment of new
quarter dollars for the coin exchange to be conducted after the
official ceremony would conclude. As a result, even with restrictions
on the number of $10 rolls any one person could obtain, some people
left empty-handed. The coin exchange began with a 10-roll limit, which
was changed to a five-roll limit while many were still standing in line.
To reach the ceremony, collectors, with or without their cars, had
to board a ferry for a 20-minute, frigid ride across the choppy waters
of Lake Erie.
Veteran U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, whose congressional
district includes Put-in-Bay and surrounding counties, delivered the
ceremony’s keynote address.
Kaptur reminded the audience of the importance of Master
Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie,
sometimes called the Battle of Put-in-Bay, on Sept. 10, 1813.
2013 marks the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.
Perry’s naval victory against the British forced the abandonment
of Forts Amherstburg and Detroit, leaving the Americans to control
Lake Erie for the rest of the war.
Kaptur stressed the importance of the victory, not only to the
region, but also to the development of the United States. She noted
that outside the House of Representatives in the U.S. Capitol hangs a
painting depicting an artist’s conception of the Battle of Lake Erie.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is depicted on
the quarter dollar along with a statue of Perry also found at the
national site. The memorial celebrates the long-lasting peace between
the British, Canada, the United States and Native American nations,
In separate remarks, Stransky emphasized the quarter dollar is a
“conversation starter” to learn about what she said is sometimes
referred to as “the forgotten war” — the War of 1812.
Stransky said the war changed the course of American history,
supporting westward expansion and the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny.
The war was also crucial in the early development of the state of
Ohio, which was only nine years old when war was declared. Many of
Ohio’s cities are named after the forts or American outposts that
functioned during the war, Stransky said.
During her presentation, Kaptur paid homage to the region’s
original inhabitants, noting that many of the northern counties in
Ohio are named after Native American tribes, including Ottawa County,
where Put-in-Bay is located.
Also during the ceremony, J. Marc Landry, the U.S. Mint’s acting
associate director of sales and marketing, emphasized that the
memorial is a tribute to Master Commandant Oliver Perry’s decisive
naval victory in the Battle of Lake Erie and celebrates the lasting
peace among Britain, Canada, and the United States.
“Today we celebrate a national park that is small in acreage but
significant in American history, a memorial to those who fought in the
Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, a piece of Ohio and American
heritage in a setting of extraordinary natural beauty,” Landry said.
“It is easy to see why the Perry’s Victory and International Peace
Memorial was chosen to be part of the America the Beautiful Quarters
Following his remarks, Landry presented Stransky with
a framed representation of the quarter dollar reverse design along
with two quarter dollars.
Following the official ceremony, those in attendance could stand
in line for the opportunity to exchange cash for up to 10 of the $10
face value paper-wrapped rolls of new quarter dollars. The obverse of
each coin for the exchange bears the P Mint mark of the Philadelphia Mint.
First National Bank, headquartered in Bellevue, Ohio, had
representatives from the Put-in-Bay branch oversee the coin exchange.
First National Bank’s chief executive officer, Dean Miller, said
the bank had secured $25,000 worth (2,500 rolls, 100,000 coins) of the
new quarter dollars for the exchange, but only brought $16,000 worth
to the post-ceremony event.
Even after reducing the maximum number of rolls per person, the
bank exhausted the $16,000, leaving some in attendance without the
opportunity to obtain a single coin.
U.S. Mint officials accommodated some of those collectors by
exchanging cash for some of the several hundred unrolled quarter
dollars that had been used for the ceremonial coin pour at the
conclusion of the launch ceremony.
Ed Hubner from Put-in-Bay, Ohio, was first in line to receive 10
rolls of the new quarter dollars. He said he got his place at the
front of the line because he was unable to find a seat with other
members of his family.
Jon Brackin from Las Vegas, Nev., has
attended a number of the quarter launch ceremonies. To get to
Put-in-Bay, he first flew to Wichita, Kan., where he met a coin
collector friend who picked him up at the airport for the 16-hour
drive to Port Clinton.
For new collector John Vasilof from Cleveland, the coin launch
ceremony was the first such event he has attended. He made the trip
with collector friend Jim Houp, who also traveled to Lincoln City,
Ind., in 2009 for the ceremony associated with the release of the
Abraham Lincoln, Formative Years cent.
Collector Chuck Taylor from Springfield, Ill., was also present.
He has attended all but one of the 17 America the Beautiful quarter
dollar ceremonies, missing only the second one, which celebrated
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
The Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial quarter
dollar, the 17th issued for the 56-coin America the Beautiful Quarters
Program, was released into circulation April 1 through the Federal