Apostle Islands National Lakeshore quarter launched into circula - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore quarter launched into circulation

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A part of the Wisconsin Northland will now be in millions of American's pockets after a new quarter program was launched in Red Cliff on Wednesday.

It's not often you'll see people lining up in the hundreds to purchase rolls of quarters five or more at a time.  But that was just the case on Wednesday when the U.S Mint released the 42nd coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

It honors the Apostle Islands and was designed by Richard Masters who once lived in Wisconsin. 

"I just have a very overwhelming sense of pride that I'm making a small contribution to the history of our Nation because these quarters will be around for a very long time," said Masters.  

On the reverse, or "tails" side of the quarter, coin holders will see a kayaker paddling near the sea caves on Devils Island, with a lighthouse in the background.

Masters said he was hoping to capture the nature of the area,"I hope they get a sense of curiosity, that if they haven't visited the Islands, that they chose to do so," he said. 

Wednesday's release ceremony in Bayfield was marked by the National Anthem, followed by a traditional Anishinaabe song. It marked the 48-year relationship between the Ojibwe and the National Parks Service at the Apostle Islands. 

"I think the fact that my home is a part of that coin, is an important reflection and acknowledgment of the Anishnaabe being here," said Henry Buffalo, an Elder with the Red Cliff Band. 

"It's Wisconsin's National Park, and now the whole country knows about it," said Bob Krumenaker, Superintendent for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. 

Something as simple as a quarter, not worth much, but this one is invaluable to Bayfield. 

"I think that will draw people, give them interest and draw people to come to understand, and maybe learn about what this area is, what the Apostle Islands are, who the tribes are, and what's the history," said Buffalo. 

This was the 100th quarter the mint has released with a special design on the "tails" side of the coin. 

The Mint is making 300 million Apostle Islands quarters that will be added into circulation over the next two to three months. 

Five of the 56 quarters in the American the Beautiful Program will be released in 2018, with the last one scheduled for release in 2021.

The U.S. Mint is issuing the quarters according to the date each location was designated a national site.

More than 500 people gathered for the quarter's launch, including the Bayfield High School Choir, Washburn High School's Jazz Band, Red Cliff Veterans of Foreign Wars, Wiigwamm Express, and the Red Cliff Youth Drum Group.

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