Meet our museum's newest acquisition. A friend found this in his garden in the Heights and decided it would look better in the museum than in his kitchen drawer, so he generously donated it.
J.E. Hanna was one of the founding members of the Hood River merchant community. His store on the south side of the 100 block of Oak Street had different partners almost every year, but for over a decade it was one of the anchors of the downtown. It appears to have started as Hanna and Ziegler in 1890 before becoming J.E. Hanna Cheap Cash Store in 1891. By 1893 it was "Hanna and Wolford" so I believe this token was issued between 1891 and 1893.
You would have been able to exchange this token for their "complete line of groceries flour and feed, gents' furnishing goods, choice fruits, confectionary cigars etc.," according to their 1891 advertising. A dollar wasn't just change in the 1890s. I can see the person who lost this token searching the pockets of all their clothing looking for it, unaware it had fallen to the ground and found a place to hide for the next century.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
What a find! Perhaps the house where these resided, burned and were lost to the ground. The history of the lot, where they were found, would be interesting.
What kind of metal were these made from and where were they manufactured?
L.E. on 3rd August 2020 @ 7:23am
LE, the coloring is like a copper penny, but it is very thin and about the size of a half dollar. It looks like they customize a standard blank with the store name on one side. It has a good amount of wear from use, so it must have been handled quite a bit.
The area where it was found was probably a farm field back in the 1890s. It was likely part if Oscar Stranahan's property. Maybe old Oscar himself lost it through a hole in his pocket?
ArthurB on 3rd August 2020 @ 8:52am
You can see lots of other trade tokens here:
ArthurB on 3rd August 2020 @ 9:00am
That was a lot of money back in that day. Maybe equal to $15 or more in the day. Was this change from a purchase?
I can't imagine just passing these out, but I also can not imagine them giving change that can only be spent at their store.
nels on 3rd August 2020 @ 9:45am
These were commonly given out in company towns, as encouraged the bearer to spend his money in the company store. And I have to wonder if that is indicative of the "Cash" store differentiation. One of late local surveyors has written a book on railroad tokens.
spinsur on 3rd August 2020 @ 9:53am
I imagine a farmer selling produce to Hanna would get payment in trade tokens to be used for future purchases. It's a fancy way to signify a credit on the store books.
ArthurB on 3rd August 2020 @ 10:27am
I also know that in the south that some plantations had coins that were given out to the slaves to be used at "the company store." Or maybe it was a plantation store.
Charlott on 3rd August 2020 @ 3:01pm
I bet Native Americans were given those coins when they came to the HR area to harvest strawberries.
L.E. on 3rd August 2020 @ 3:29pm
This is fascinating.
Kyle on 3rd August 2020 @ 4:23pm