The U.S. Mint has released a quarter featuring Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Representatives of the mint, National Park Service employees and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers unveiled the quarter Monday at the park’s visitor center in Middlesboro. The event was attended by more than 2,200 schoolchildren from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
The coin, which depicts a frontiersman looking westward against a backdrop of mountains on the tails side, is the 32nd coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. It includes the words “Cumberland Gap” and “First Doorway to the West.”
“Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great break in the Appalachian mountain chain, which gave passage to thousands seeking something new beyond the horizon,” Marc Landry, plant manager of the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, said in a news release. “Millions of Americans will now have a reminder of the important role this mountain pass has played in the settlement of our nation.”
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The America the Beautiful quarters, which will feature 56 national parks and other sites, are being issued over a 12-year period in the order in which the national sites were officially established. Five new quarters are released each year.
Rogers, R-Somerset, said he hoped the coin would help increase awareness about the area and its history.
“It is my hope that folks will want to learn more about Daniel Boone and the early pioneers’ journey along the Wilderness Trail and through (the) original gateway to the west,” he said in a news release. “We want them to read about and visit this wonderful place that we call home.”
Bags, rolls and sets of the quarters are available through the U.S. Mint at Catalog.usmint.gov.