The 2017 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt will be known as the year Jerome Krieger found the medallion near Spoon Lake in Keller Regional Park after nine clues.

It might also be known as the Year Without a Medallion.

Because there was no medallion enumerated with the year 2017, anno Domini.

In this collage of two pictures, the 2017 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallion, held by winner Jerome Krieger, carries the year 2016 on it. Pioneer Press: Dave Orrick
The 2017 medallion

As some astute observers promptly noted, the medallion Krieger found around 3:30 p.m. Monday is etched with the year 2016. Huh?

To be clear: Krieger found the right medallion, a unique puck featuring the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory adjacent to Como Zoo. Last year’s medallion was different: It depicted the Minnesota Capitol dome looming above the St. Paul skyline.

The Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallion was found in Bald Eagle-Otter Lake Regional Park by Heather Vocke, Christopher Jozwiak, and Phillip Kitzer, all of Minneapolis, late Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)
The 2016 medallion

It’s just that both said 2016.

Here’s the explanation.


There were actually three medallions struck in 2016, according to Lori Swanson, vice president of marketing for the Pioneer Press.

For the clandestine task of forging a new medallion for 2016, Swanson conscripted her son, Ryne Anderson. Anderson was in his senior year at University of Wisconsin-Stout in the industrial design program.

“I thought it was pretty awesome,” Anderson said of the job. While the order was for one medallion, Anderson had an idea of creating three candidates, each with an equal claim to St. Paul and Minnesota. With his mother’s permission, he brought in his friend and fellow design student, Kirk Remeikis of Mundelein, Ill.

“I said one, but they’re artists, so they came up with three,” Swanson said Tuesday.

In relative secrecy in Menomonie, Wis., Anderson and Remeikis designed and etched the three medallions from plexiglass in October 2015.

Swanson was so pleased with them that she decided to use one last year and another this year.


For inspiration, Anderson and Remeikis drew on the gilded sculpture atop the Capitol, the four-horsed “quadriga,” entitled “The Progress of the State.” The four horses represent the elements of nature — earth, wind, fire and water — while the two women bridling them represent industry and agriculture — collectively: civilization.

“It’s a little fuzzy because this was a while ago,” Anderson said Tuesday, “but we wanted to represent the ideas of nature, progress and civilization, one on each medallion.”

Civilization was the St. Paul skyline with the Capitol dome — the medallion hidden in 2016.

Nature was the Como Conservatory — the medallion hidden in 2017.

Progress was expressed by a design showing the stark geometry of the grandstands of CHS Field, the Lowertown ballpark home of the St. Paul Saints baseball franchise.

An unused Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Medallion featuring CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints, is pictured. The medallion is one of three struck as candidates for the 2016 hunt. Pioneer Press: Dave Orrick
The third medallion

The park had opened earlier in 2015. That medallion hasn’t been used — and apparently won’t Swanson said.

“We’ll do a new one for next year,” she said. Anderson, who has since graduated, is a likely candidate for the job.


Swanson said the decision to use a 2016-inscribed medallion for the 2017 hunt didn’t seem odd to her.

“For years, we used the same medallion over and over,” she said. “It was part of the mystique.”

Now, the three medallions of 2016 are part of the trivia.

Two of the three Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallions struck in October of 2015 and bearing the year 2016 are pictured. The medallion on the left, featuring the Marjorie McNeely Nature Conservatory, was used in the 2017 hunt. At right is an unused medallion featuring CHS Field, where the St. Paul Saints play. Pioneer Press: Dave Orrick

Copyright 2017 Pioneer Press.