Vermont hoard contains unknown coins

Littleton buys coins from a Vermont Hoard

Vermont Hoard Yields Previously
Unknown Tokens, Morgans and more!


November 18, 1996


Four dozen specimens of a previously unknown Vermont "good for" token were discovered hidden at a New England farm, according to Littleton Coin Co., Littleton, New Hampshire.  They were part of a numismatic hoard that included uncirculated Morgan dollars and a bundle of $1,000 denomination bills.


The previously uncataloged aluminum token variety apparently was issued around the turn of the century by "MISS M. J. DRURY, WILLIAMSTOWN, VT."  and  is "GOOD FOR ONE 5 CENT CIGAR."  It is the first known use of the title, "Miss," on a U.S. token.


Forty-eight of these tokens and other numismatic items were among the $3.7 million worth of gold and silver bullion, stock certificates, and antique automobiles discovered earlier this year on the property of the late Alexander and Imogene Miller of East Orange, Vermont.


"The incredible treasure trove surprised many residents of the area," said David M. Sundman, President of Littleton Coin Company.  "We purchased a portion of the Miller's coins and bank notes.  We're calling it The Vermont Yankee Hoard."


Although a significant discovery for collectors, the numismatic portion of the estate is quite small compared to the $1.8 million worth of antique motor cars found on the Miller's property and sold at auction by Christie's in September.


Despite their wealth, the Millers lived simple lives, according to news reports.  Their dilapidated farmhouse roof was patched with recycled tin; they cooked with a wood stove; Mrs. Miller wore raincoats made of plastic bags; and Mr. Miller's regular mode of transportation was a 1903 Eureka bicycle with frequently patched tires.


A cache of 1878-S Morgan dollars and other silver coins was found in bags beneath the floorboards of an abandoned Schoolhouse on the Miller's property.  There also were 17  $1,000 denomination bills and five $500 notes in the hoard.


"Many of the items had been stashed in cigar boxes.  Some of the coins were found in match boxes," Sundman said.


All 17  $1,000 bills are either Series 1934 or 1934A and ten of the notes grade extremely fine.  They were not consecutively numbered.


The $500 notes are Series 1934 and range in grade from very fine to extremely fine.


"We purchased about $74,000 worth of coins, paper money and tokens from the Miller estate.  Most of the coins we bought are uncirculated 1878-S Morgan dollars, the first year of issue for that series," explained Sundman.


"These hoard coins range in grade from MS-60 to 64.  That's a remarkable state of preservation when you consider these were stashed beneath a schoolhouse floor for decades."


Littleton was involved in another incredible hoard earlier this year when it completed purchase of 23,000 coins originally used as New York subway fares in the 1940s to early '60s.  That hoard included 241 circulated 1916-D and 166  1942/1 overdate Winged Liberty Head ("Mercury") dimes and 19 Type One Standing Liberty quarters.


For additional information, contact Littleton Coin Co., One Littleton Coin Place, Littleton, NH  03561.   Phone 800-645-3122.