The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 20, May 16, 2021, Article 4


John and Nancy Wilson submitted this article about a new book on Michigan Mining Scrip. Thanks! -Editor

MICHIGAN MINING SCRIP, Paper of the Northern Michigan Copper and Iron Mining Districts,
by Judith Haskins Davis, David H. Gelwicks and Chester L. Krause, 2021

Michigan Mining Scrip book cover Published by: David H. Gelwicks Publishing, Monroe, Michigan,

Reviewed by: John and Nancy Wilson, NLG

This wonderful and well-done reference has been in production for many years and was originally started by collector and publisher Chester Krause (1923-2016) who collaborated with Copper Harbor, Michigan historian and collector Judy Davis. About ten years later Michigan Tech Alumnus Dave Gelwicks, joined the project to bring this reference to completion. Mr. Gelwicks dedicates the reference to Judy Davis and in memory of Chet Krause. On one of the pages Clifford Mishler does an "In Memory of Chet" and quoting him, Personally, I'm particularly delighted to see this land-breaking and comprehensive study embracing the consequential 19th century scrip issues from Michigan's Upper Peninsula come to fruition.

Michigan Mining Scrip, Paper of the Northern Michigan Copper and Iron Mining Districts comes with a very important rarity scale. It is a Hard Bound 320-page reference of mining notes, scrip, maps and much more. Behind the front and inside the back covers you will find maps of Michigan, which will help the reader find the location of material contained in the reference. Only 500 numbered copies were made. It is fully illustrated with more than 550 notes and figures shown in the book. You will also find hundreds of color images.

The three parts are Part 1 - Copper Mines - covers 180 pages, Part 2 - Iron Mines - covers 72 pages and Part 3 – Miscellaneous - covers 26 pages. The period represented in the reference covers a span from 1824 to 1963. The reference includes obsolete bank & scrip notes, sight & after date drafts, checks, post cards, bearer notes, national bank notes, coupons, receipts, letters, various types of certificates including stock, and other types of fiscal related items. The reference has a description of scrip, checks, sight drafts and bearer notes. Just about every item listed in this book should be considered scarce to rare with some unique. If you ever wondered why parts of Wisconsin were part of Michigan, several pages explaining Cessation and Statehood explain how that happened, along with other pertinent information on Michigan statehood. The Bibliography will help researchers and everyone else who might be looking for information on Mining Scrip.

Michigan Mining Scrip book back cover The book contains many great notes and the stories that brought them into circulation. We especially liked the unique American Fur Company coupon dated 1824 from Michilimackinac County, Michigan Territory.  Other items of special interest are the Keweenaw County, Delaware Mining Company, along with Quincy Mining certificates, many of which are signed by Samuel Hill.  Samuel W. Hill was an American surveyor, mining developer and geologist in Michigan's copper mines.  He was famous for some slang words he used, one of which is, What the Sam Hill.  When he was alive radio personality Rush Limbaugh used What the Sam Hill, on occasions. We have several versions of notes with his signature on them, some of which were given to us by Dealer Larry Falater, from Michigan.

It was a lifetime of work by Mr. Gelwicks who spent countless years assembling the collection, along with the mind-boggling research involved in bringing this reference to completion. Past publications, of this type simply documented notes that were currently known. This reference goes the extra mile providing accurate and precise information and data on every known Mining note or ephemera item. David Gelwicks is well known for his outstanding and award-winning exhibits. He completed the work started by co-authors Judith Haskins Davis and Chester L. Krause (1923 – 2016). We think you will enjoy reading this well-done and comprehensive reference on Michigan Mining Scrip.

David Gelwicks now brings to you a reference of Michigan Mining Scrip that you will find, historical, educational, informative, interesting and entertaining. We think it should be in every collector, dealer or historian's library. Books can be ordered via email to Send a check payable to Dave Gelwicks, PO Box 2596 Monroe, MI 48161 in the amount of $55 which includes media mail.

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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