first introduced the medallion hunt to the community in 2005 with the mission of educating and bringing awareness to the community of the rich history that is the foundation of St. Michael.
This year a new way to play was introduced and the hunt focused on multiple historical sites to create a historical trivia of sorts. The new rules
required that a starter clue be issued on day one of the hunt and each participant take a picture of the current location associated with the clue, by either emailing the picture or stopping by the bank to collect the next clue provided the picture was correct.
"Unfortunately, we did not make a timely announcement of this change and many of our loyal participants from prior years were not informed of the change and it did create some confusion. We would like to offer a sincere apology and hope that everyone was still able to enjoy the hunt this year," Lynn Olson from Great Northern Bank said in an email Monday.
Although the medallion was not located this year, the cash prize of $1,000 was donated to the Hanover Food Shelf. This has been a practice of Great Northern Bank’s since inception of the medallion hunt.
"I believe there has only been one other year that the medallion was not located, in 2007, when the medallion was hidden near the walking path behind the fire department," wrote Olson.
Each clue was crafted using the Faith Family Farming, A History of St. Michael, Minnesota book written and researched by Bob Zahler.
Clue #1: The pillar of the community is a reference to the historical Church of St. Michael.
Clue #2: The cornerstone from which financial success was founded is a reference to the original bank in St. Michael called State Bank of St. Michael which was founded in 1904. The bank was located on the corner of Main Street South and Central Avenue West from 1905 to approximately 1956. This historical site is where the is currently located.
Clue #3: Dance the night away in this saloon is a reference to Matt Barthel’s Saloon/St. Michael Dance Hall/RR Club which opened around 1900 to 1978 when the building burned to the ground. There were multiple owners during that time frame. This historical site is located at 100 Central Avenue East and currently hosts a building with multiple tenants with the most recent being the St. Michael Catholic Preschool.
Clue #4: Entrepreneur of millinery is a reference to St. Michael’s first business woman, Helen Bodems. Mrs. Bodems opened her millinery shop in 1904 when she constructed the building. This historical site is located at 105 Central Avenue East and is not to be confused with the “telephone building” which is the small building located to the east of the original millinery shop.
Clue #5:Siding may be hiding this historical site. So if you are a d__rr you may be lured to this place is a reference to Anton and Theresa Duerr’s original log home which is hidden under modern siding and is located on the hill immediately east of . Anton and Theresa Duerr settled in St. Michael in 1861 and are considered one of the founding families that settled into the area.
Clue #6: Water and wheat is a reference to Bernings Lumber and Feed Mill. Berning’s Mill was founded by Anton Berning in the late 1800’s. The
historical site is located at behind the .
Clue #7: Congratulations! You have made it this far! Don’t give up! Now the real work begins! Finding the location is half the fun, find the medallion and you have won! Rumor has it they made “excellent brick” is a reference to Hagemeyer Brickyard which was located for a time near the present location of along 43rd Street Northeast.
This was seventh and final clue leading participants to the medallion. The medallion was located in the woods on the city lot east of Meiny’s Diggers. There is a dirt path near the rock pile that lead to the woods. The medallion was to the left of the dirt path approximately 15 feet into the woods next to a fallen log. The medallion was a dark green color with indented gold inscription on both sides.
"We would like to thank everyone in the community who participated for their support of this year’s event and we look forward to many more medallion hunts in the coming years," Olson said.
Special thanks to Lynn Olson for all of the information regarding the hunt and the clues significance.