The Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter was released on November 14, 2011 as the tenth overall release within the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The site is located in the state of Oklahoma and was federally designated on July 1, 1902.
The reverse design depicts the Lincoln Bridge, built of limestone and dedicated in 1909 to celebrate the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The bridge represented the first constructed improvement in the national recreation area. Inscriptions read “Chickasaw”, “Oklahoma”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and the date “2011”. The reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Jim Licaretz.
The Denver Mint struck 69,400,000 coins for circulation, while the Philadelphia Mint struck 73,800,000 coins. Proof and silver proof coins were produced at the San Francisco Mint.
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.
Chickasaw Quarter Mintages
- 2011-D Chickasaw Quarter: 69,400,000
- 2011-P Chickasaw Quarter: 73,800,000
Chickasaw Quarter Specifications
- Designers: John Flanagan (obverse), Donna Weaver (reverse)
- Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel (clad), 90% silver, 10% copper (silver proof)
- Diameter: 24.26 mm
- Weight: 5.67 grams
- Thickness: 1.75 mm
- Edge: Reeded
About Chickasaw National Recreation Area
The history of the United States will forever be entwined with the legacy of the native peoples 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.