Cannon treasure hunt for $1,000 to begin

More clues will be released this year


A thousand bucks is serious money, and this year’s treasure hunt organizers are serious about giving it away. Three clues a week will be offered instead of the two clues as in past years. Pictured are the Cannon Area Business Association members who organize the treasure hunt in Cannon Township worth $1,000 to the first to find the copper coin. Back row: Jim Blackall of Topp Stopp, Dennis Spitler of Believe, Don Kurylowicz of Cannonsburg Grist Mill, and (front) Carl Stites of Stites Eye Care and Linda Anderson of ChoiceOne Bank.


Hunters scouring Cannon Township for a copper coin that will give them $1,000 in free gasoline can begin looking Tuesday, September 21 when the first three of three clues each week are released. The Cannon Area Business Association (CABA) is again holding the annual treasure hunt in the memory of the township’s namesake cannon, hidden by township fathers after it fatally killed one man who was shooting it off as a prank.

Today the hunt for the “cannon”—in the guise of a copper coin with the image of the cannon on one side—is worth big money, one thousand dollars in free gas to the hunter who first discovers its hiding place.

“I run into people all the time from all over,” said the keeper of the coin’s hiding spot, Carl Stites of Stites Eye Care. “They tell me they love to look for the coin and do it as a family every year.” Stites said the local hunt—it is always within the boundaries of Cannon Township—has expanded its following to quite a distance.

The hunt is in its fifth year and rules remain the same. The coin is located on public property, is not more than four feet off the ground, and must be turned in after being found. Clues are released each Tuesday beginning on September 21, and are available at the shops or websites of the participating businesses. Organizers have divided up the clues so that hunters must visit more than one place to find all three clues. For those who are “armchair hunters,” each Thursday edition of the Squire will have the clues of that week on the front page.

“People are lined up outside the bank in the morning waiting for us to open,” said organizer Linda Anderson of ChoiceOne Bank on Belding Road. She said other participating businesses have the same experience and people sometimes make the mistake of searching the brush and landscaping of the businesses hoping to find the coin.

That’s great fun, and “hunter” sightings are often called in to the Squire so a reporter can run out and interview hunters. However, the coin is never hidden on private property, so searching in the gutter of any of this year’s stores won’t help.

This is the coin to find for gift certificates worth $1,000 in gas.

“It was fun watching people look,” said Don Kurlyowicz, (the “King of Cannonsburg,”) where twice the coin was hidden. One year it was between the posts of the firetruck sign near Honeycreek Inn. Another time it was hidden in the shrubs where a tribute to the Cannon Township Cannon sits. The coin was hidden the first year in Pickerel Park, where Mary Bonnie found it before the first clue was released, earning the reputation as “the clueless treasure hunter.” Another year it was hidden by the entrance to a development at Lake Bella Vista.

“A map of Cannon Township will be useful,” said Stites who refused to give an advanced hint to where he might have hidden the coin. He said his stealthy trip each year to put the coin in its hiding place is always a nervous outing. He watches to see if anyone is looking, and has had to abandon his plans and return another time if he gets worried. When hiding the coin at Bella Vista, he was certain he’d been recognized, but later discovered the homeowner who spooked him was just working in his yard.

“Every year I tell people I’ll give the location away for $1,500,” said Dennis Spitler of Believe. He said no one has taken him up on his offer, which is lucky since only Stites knows the coin’s hiding place.

“I smile and say the best way to find it is to get in your car and have a nice family outing,” Stites stated.

This year participating businesses who will offer at least one of the clues are: ChoiceOne Bank, Cannon Family Dentistry, Rockford Self Storage, S&H Greenhouse, Cannon Township, Bostwick Bakery, Stites Eye Care, Acme Tire and Auto, Euro Autowerks, Lakeside Car Company, Pizzeria Grande, Bostwick Lake Inn, Huntington Banks, Cannonsburg Grist Mill, Topp Stop, Health First Chiropractic, Timbers Inn and Believe.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.