The 2018 America the Beautiful quarters mark the 9th year since the inception of the program in 2010. This year the U.S. mint has come up with exceptional designs for the next 5 quarters for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore,Michigan
Pictured Rocks, so named because of naturally formed picturesque and colorful rocks in the shape of castle turrets and human profiles, are governed by the National Park service since 1966. It is a U.S. National Lakeshore extending for 42 miles and at a height of 200 ft. above lake level on the shore of Lake Superior. While the sandstone cliffs in Pictured Rocks look really beautiful, they are quite dangerous to manoeuvre in boats or canoes.
The streaks of colors on the rocks are caused by the different minerals that are left on the rock face after the ground water evaporates. It is said that the Native Americans believed a local spirit resided in the cliffs of the Pictured Rocks and offered tobacco to appease it.
The Pictured Rocks 2018 America the Beautiful quarter design depicts Chapel Rock and the white pine tree that grows atop. The inscriptions are "PICTURED ROCKS," "MICHIGAN," "2018," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore,Wisconsin
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore contains 21 islands and a shoreline on the northern tip of Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Superior. It is home to many beaches, cliffs, sandstone sea caves, old lighthouses and ship wrecks! The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was established in 1970.
Due to their sea-like behavior with rolling waves and thunderstorms, the Great Lakes have been the site of many ship wrecks. One such wreck covered under the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is the Lucerne, a commercial schooner which sank on Lake Superior off Long Island in Chequamegon Bay in 1886. The site of the wreck was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
The Apostle Islands Lakeshore 2018 America the Beautiful quarter design depicts the sea caves at Devils Island with the lighthouse in the background and a kayaker paddling in the foreground. The inscriptions in the coin are "APOSTLE ISLANDS," "WISCONSIN," "2018," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
The Voyageurs National Park is situated in northern Minnesota near the town of International falls. It honors the 'voyageurs' or the French-Canadian fur traders who frequently crossed the area for trading with the Native Americans in the 17th century. These voyageurs came after the coureurs de bois who were fur traders trading directly with the natives in the decades before that. The voyageurs were more representatives of a fur trading company than individual traders. Both these kind of traders had to be well versed in canoeing, hunting, fishing, and snoeshoeing, among other things.
Access to the Voyageurs National Park is through water. The park covers the Ash river, Kabetogama Lake and Rainy Lake that also have visitor centers for getting information on the park's geology, wildlife, plants, and history.
The 2018 America the Beautiful quarters design depicts a common loon with a rock cliff in the background. The inscriptions are "VOYAGEURS," "MINNESOTA," "2018," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM.”
Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia
Cumberland Island National Seashore came under the National Park Service in 1972. It is one of the largest islands in Georgia's golden isles. The NPS preserves not only the flora and fauna, but also many historical sites and structures in the island.
The Cumberland Island Museum on the island provides information on the historical importance of the island. Nathanael Greene, the American Revolutionary hero, Eli Whitney, the inventor of cotton gin and the Carnegie family are all interlinked with the history of this island.
The island came to the notice of the British soldier, Member of parliament, philanthropist and the first Governor of Georgia, James Edward Oglethorpe, who built a hunting lodge there called 'Dungeness' in 1736. Later, in the early 1800s, Nathanael Greene bought 11,000 acres in the island. After he passed, his widow got a tabby house built with the same name 'Dungeness' in the island. She invited Eli Whitney, the inventor to her estate in Cumberland Island when she met him in a sea voyage. He invented the cotton gin which would revolutionize the way cotton was harvested and reinvigorated slavery in the Southern states. 'Dungeness' came into disrepair and later was burnt down just before the Civil war.
The Carnegie family came in the 1880s and Thomas Carnegie, the Pittsburgh steel magnate and his wife Lucy bought almost 90% of the island. The main mansion was built in the same site as the original and was named 'Dungeness' again. Curiously, this mansion came under arson in 1950s and remains in it's ruined state even now. Lucy had built two more mansions in the island as wedding presents for her children; the Plum Orchard estate mansion and the Greyfield mansion. The Plum Orchard mansion has been restored by the National Park service and visitors can visit the place with prior appointment. The Greyfield mansion has been converted into Greyfield Inn by the current members of the Carnegie family.
The 2018 America the Beautiful quarters design depicts a snowy egret posing on a branch on the edge of a salt marsh, ready for flight. Inscriptions are "CUMBERLAND ISLAND," "GEORGIA," "2018," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island
The Block Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1973 and is around 127 acres of land. It is part of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which manages all five of the National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island. The Wildlife refuge is home to an impressive number of migratory songbirds that visit the area during the fall. The refuge also provides habitat to the Endangered American Burying Beetle.
The 2018 America the beautiful quarters design depicts a black-crowned night-heron flying over a view from the beach at Cow Cove looking towards Sandy Point. The North Lighthouse is seen in the background. Inscriptions are "BLOCK ISLAND," "RHODE ISLAND," "2018," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."