Web site visitor Anne Strupp submitted the following note about plans to purchase the Bechtler House in of Rutherford Co., NC.
I have just discovered your interesting website www.coinbooks.org.
I am on the Board of Directors of the newly established Tourism Asset Foundation [TAF] of Rutherford Co., NC. We are in the final stages of planning a big fund-raiser for Thursday, October 17, and wish I had known to get this information to you sooner.
Our immediate goal and the TAF’s first project is the purchase of the Bechtler House for the community, and the continued development of it as a permanent cultural heritage center. As you must know, Christopher Bechtler, with sons Charles and Augustus, and nephew Christopher, Jr. settled in this county in 1830. The initial occupation of the German immigrant was jewelry, clock making, and gunsmithing. But his fine reputation and success, with gold and other metals, led local citizens to encourage him to assay the raw gold so easily obtained here at that time, and eventually to establish a private mint. His 1838 home is now being rented to the town and open to the public, with limited exhibits and funds.
Our event kicks off with a VIP reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres at 4:00, by invitation only, on the grounds of the property. Following that reception, there will be a community event open to the public from 5 to 7pm. During those 2 hours there will be exhibits and tours inside the house, and a series of market and craft booths along the street.
We have on exhibit the original Bechtler coin press, on loan to us from the American Numismatic Society, NY. And for that afternoon only, we will also display the personal coin collection of our local numismatist, Norman Jenkins, whose collection of Bechtler coins alone is outstanding. There will be screenings of the recent public broadcast film “Gold Fever and the Bechtler Mint”, as well as DVD copies for sale. Entertainment on the Bechtler porch will include local bluegrass musicians, storytelling, and a gold panning demonstration.
We hope to gather dignitaries from the local to state levels, as well as local donors and various media. We would also sincerely like to solicit any donation on behalf of your organization or any of its members. It is a handsome early American house, in need of permanent maintenance and museum quality exhibits. We are very proud of what we have thus far accomplished, and have great hopes for its future. Please consider contributing to this important part of American numismatic history.
The house is located at 130 Sixth St., Rutherfordton, NC 28139. We are within 60-90 minutes from airports in Charlotte and Asheville, NC, and Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
For more information, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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