The 2011 Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter represented the final release of 2011 for the new quarter series created to feature the National Parks and sites of America. The quarter represented the tenth release of the series overall.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area was selected as the site to be depicted for the state of Oklahoma. Under the authorizing legislation, one federally designated site is selected for each state, territory, and the District of Columbia and depicted on the reverse of a circulating quarter dollar.
The reverse design of the coin features a depiction of Lincoln Bridge. It was built of limestone and dedicated in 1909 for the centennial for the 16th President’s birth. The bridge represented the first constructed improvement within the National Recreation Area and is a popular scenic destination. The design is by Donna Weaver, with sculpting performed by Jim Licaretz.
The Chickasaw Quarter was officially released into circulation on November 14, 2011. At earlier dates, the coins were available as incorporated into various numismatic products offered by the United States Mint. Additionally, the design of the quarter was duplicated for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins series, on 5 ounces of .999 fine silver.
This release showed an increase in production levels compared to the previous America the Beautiful Quarters. In total, there were 143.2 million Chickasaw Quarters produced for circulation at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints.
About Chickasaw National Recreation Area
The history of the United States will forever be entwined with the legacy of the native people’s that already inhabited the continent when European settlers, first arrived. It is unfortunate that the early interactions with these Native Americans were strained, and for lack of knowledge and tolerance, the early settlers often treated them with far less respect than they deserved. Throughout the years, the American government has slowly come to realize that the legacy of the Native Americans is just as important to understanding the history of this country as is the legacy of the early pioneers. Chickasaw National Recreation Area is one way that the federal government has sought to honor the memory of these native peoples.
During the 1830’s many of the native tribes that were living peacefully in the Southeastern United States were relocated to reservations that the government had designated for them to be able to live out their traditional lifestyles without harm. The wooded hills and areas of southern Oklahoma were one of these areas, and it was here that the Chickasaw Indian Nation was placed.
Later, the Chickasaw Nation sold the land to the federal government as a park. Although this area was originally created as the Sulphur Springs Reservation in 1902, it was dedicated as the Platt National Park in 1906. It has since been renamed again, but still remains one of the most beautiful places to enjoy natural rivers, streams and lakes.
Chickasaw National Park Quarter Launch Ceremony
The United States Mint held an official launch ceremony for the Chickasaw Quarter on November 16, 2011. Although it was not announced at the time, this would be the final public launch ceremony held before the US Mint suspended the program to reevaluate the costs and structure of the events.
At the event B.B. Craig, the Associate Director for Sales and Marketing of the US Mint, said, “When Americans receive this quarter depicting the Lincoln Bridge in their change, they will hold a piece of our American story in their hands, this one about the beauty and history of a special place conserved for them in Oklahoma.”
Also in attendance were the National Recreation Area Superintendent Bruce Noble, Oklahoma State Representative Wes Hilliard, and Administrator of the Chickasaw National Division of History and Culture Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham.
Following the ceremony, members of the public were allowed to exchange currency for rolls of freshly minted Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarters. Children received a free quarter to commemorate the event.