1996 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

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Found by Charles Kester and Eric Taylor, proud East Siders that located the medallion in a tin of Skoal at Harriet Island Park after only about 20 minutes of searching on the day of the last clue. It was the longest search and one of the coldest in history. The two young men went looking for easy money instead of going job hunting as they'd originally planned. Not dressed for the weather and without digging tools, the pair wouldn't have lasted long had it not been for Jim Fleischaker, a North St. Paul native that let the men warm up for a spell in his car. When Charles and Eric found the medallion, they offered Jim a cut but he passed. It's definitely a community thing, this treasure hunting business.

Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 21, 1996
Found on:Thursday, February 1, 1996
Finders:
NameHometown
Charles KesterSaint Paul
Eric TaylorSaint Paul
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$4,000
Awarded Prize:$3,000
Location:
General Location:Harriet Island Park
Exact Location:Near the picnic shelter
Concealer: Inside a Skoal Tobacco Container
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 21, 1996
Come one, come all to the medallion ball,
Our hunt for the Treasure is free.
You'll do best to stay in St. Paul
And avoid private property.
Explanation: Reveals that the medallion is in St. Paul and warns hunters not to go on private property.
Our Thoughts: The usual.
 
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Published on Monday, January 22, 1996
One thing to mark as you start this lark
Is that the wintry sanctum of this lode
Can be found within a public park;
Think of it as Tobacco Road.
Explanation: "Tobacco Road" refers to the medallion's hiding place in a can of chewing tobacco.
Our Thoughts: Some believed it was also a nickname for the Mississippi River.
 
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Published on Tuesday, January 23, 1996
Make it your goal to win some dough
As you struggle along this quest.
But don't stray too far from H2O,
And please lay your litter to rest.
Explanation: "H2O" tells hunters that the medallion is hidden near water - in this case, the Mississippi River.
Our Thoughts: It should be noted that every garbage can in every public park was ravaged because of this clue, which is a travesty, since hunters should leave the park cleaner than they found it not the other way around.
 
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Published on Wednesday, January 24, 1996
Often the host will shout his toast
As glasses are raised in the air.
You'll find the reward you covet the most
If you make this a can-do affair.
Explanation: "Toast" refers to the word "skoal", which is the brand name on the tobacco container in which the medallion is hidden. "Can-do" refers to the fact that the medallion is inside the tobacco can.
Our Thoughts: These are poor explanations whether they're true or not. Clever hunters knew a "toast" was a common way to begin a cruise and "can-do" was a Navy code word, leading hunters to the boats at Lake Harriet and "Navy" Island nearby. A can of Mountain Dew was an easy thing to mistake as the object the medallion was hidden in. Bad clue writer, bad.
 
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Published on Thursday, January 25, 1996
If you are wise you will surmise
That these clues hold a secret name.
But don't always believe your eyes
For we're playing a tricky game.
Explanation: "This clue alerts readers to the fact that the first letters of each verse (there are 16 in all) spell out the message "COMO IS NOT THE SPOT". "Playing a tricky game" indicates that this is a deliberately deceptive clue.

Published on Friday, January 26, 1996
Somewhere the Treasure awaits your pleasure
Near a place for biking and hiking.
So search for the trophy at your leisure
And you may win a prize to your liking.
Explanation: "Hiking and biking" refer to trails atop the Harriet Island levee near the medallion's hiding place.
 
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Published on Saturday, January 27, 1996
Name a notable black man and he'll help you track
This terribly perplexing mystery.
You'll find one of his works not far back
From the place where you ought to be.
Explanation: The "notable black man" is Clarence Wigington, a longtime city of St. Paul architect who designed the Harriet Island pavilion and numerous other park structures in the city.
Our Thoughts: This is a good clue in many ways, particularly in that it asks diggers to pick up on a little St. Paul history.
 
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Published on Sunday, January 28, 1996
Once you know how to go with the flow
You'll never meet a deterrent.
If you want your wallet to grow
Think of two kinds of current.
Explanation: "Two kinds of current" refer to the Mississippi River's current and to the electric current produced at Northern States Power Co.'s High Bridge plant, which can be seen from Harriet Island.
 
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Published on Monday, January 29, 1996
Though you may ponder where to wander
Don't worry about losing your way.
The treasure is somewhere out yonder
And finding it is child's play.

The next thing to know is the first place to go
And that makes sense when you look on high.
But to press this quest you'll need to stay low;
Just keep your eye on the old guy going by.
Explanation: "Child's play" refers to the Harriet Bishop Memorial Playground just east of the medallion site. "The first place to go" and "when you look on high" refer to the First Bank sign visible on the downtown skyline across from Harriet Island. The "old guy going by" is Old Man River - the Mississippi.
 
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Published on Tuesday, January 30, 1996
Help from a queen or king isn't the thing
That will make your chances increase.
If you really want to start profiting
Take a hint from a lesser piece.

Expect to recover an object whose cover
Bears the lusty old legend "Skoal."
You won't need to look for any other
If winning the reward is your goal.
Explanation: A "lesser piece" in chess compared to the "queen or king" is the bishop, which in this case refers to pioneer St. Paul teacher, Harriet Bishop, after whom the park was named. "Skoal" once again identified the brand of tobacco can in which the medallion is hidden.
 
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Published on Wednesday, January 31, 1996
Something past that just didn't last
Will give you a helpful clue.
But you'd better start moving fast
Or the winner won't be you!

Pursue the prize with open eyes
And be wary of any turbulence.
Keep this in mind and to your surprise
This clue will make superb sense.
Explanation: "Something past that just didn't last" refers to the 1992 Winter Carnival Ice Palace on Harriet Island. "Be wary of any turbulence" is a reference to the No Wake Cafe, which is docked near the medallion site..
 
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Published on Thursday, February 1, 1996
Once you know where to hunt in the snow
Your search will no longer be unplanned.
Just pick up your shovel and go
To a park called Harriet Island.

The treasure can be found by looking around
Six picnic tables to the shelter's west.
Dig down through the snow but not into the ground
and the medallion could reward your quest.
Explanation: Pinpoints the medallion's location near a cluster of six picnic tables west of a picnic shelter in Harriet Island Park
Our Thoughts: Not as giving as it appears – take it from someone who was there.
 
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