Teen wins $1,000 in gas by solving Cannon clues

CABA treasure hunt lasted six weeks


Sam holds up the coin he and his family spent six week’s searching for (well, actually about an hour a week on Tuesdays) but Sam spent plenty more time researching the clues.

Sam Kirk, 15, used his noggin and research to figure out where to hunt for the Cannon Area Business Association copper coin that won him $1,000 in free gas. The annual hunt invites the public to visit area businesses for clues that lead them through the township in search of a heavy handmade copper coin with a representation of the cannon for which the township is named featured on the face. Using the internet to research words in other languages gave the teen the edge needed to beat out hundreds of annual hunters who have made the game a family ritual.

“My wife suggested a cemetery because of the German word for stone,” said Joe Kirk, father of the young man who solved the puzzle. He also noted that there were plenty of references to numbers in the clues, and cemeteries have lots of numbers on them. Indeed, in the end the family found the coin not in a cemetery proper, but on the fence line of the Sunfish Lake Road cemetery.

Organizer Dennis Spitler said his plan was to gradually lead hunters closer to the coin’s position and if many more weeks were to go by his directions would be pretty direct, “I’d have said go right there and that’s where the coin is hidden,” he stated, also believing if the hunt dragged on too long, participants might loose heart.

The winners each year receive the big giant check presented by Linda Anderson from ChoiceOne Bank that represents a donation of $500 each from the Don Kurlyowicz’s Grist Mill of Cannonsburg and Jim Blackall’s Topp Stop, who each have donated thousands over the years in the cause of promoting all that the township has to offer. Following are the clues, including some not yet released, and hints to their importance:

Clue #1 part A “It takes 5 numbers to find the coin,” Clue #1 part B “1 is 2 and 4 is 4.” Clue #2 part A “A compass will help to find the coin,” Clue #2 part B “Or you need to know where north is.” Clue #3 part A “We talked about numbers another you need is 80 degrees,” Clue #3 part B, “120 will help you find the coin,” Clue #3 part C “If you stand in the right spot,” Clue #3 part D “Then all the numbers will help a lot.”

Spitler said the reference to one is two and four is four point to a piece of numbered equipment near the coin’s location. The numbers on the post include the first number, which is a two, and the fourth number, which is a four. Standing at that spot, if the hunter faces north, turns 80 degrees, which would be facing east, the coin was in a straight line in that direction.

Clue #4 part A “Numbers are what you need to know.” Clue #4 part B, “51 and 52 has to be part of the clue.” Along the path toward the coin is a grave of an infant who was born in 1951 and died in 1952, just a few months old. Clue #4 part C, “20 and 15 are also near,” (also numbers on the stone). Clue #4 part D “And 19 is the last number in this set of clues.” (the 19 of 1951 and 1952).

Clue #5 part A, “If north is north” Clue #5 part B, “Then 180 degrees” Clue #5 part C, “where five Dendro will lead.” (Dendro is the Greek word for trees, a line of which lead to the coin). Clue #5 part D, “to a man made landmark of lithare.” (Lithare is the Greek word for stones)

Clue #6 part A, “We talked about lithare as a pile will be, (Greek word for stones). Clue #6 part B, “If you find a horse shoe this may be the key,” Clue #6 part C, “At the bottom of a steel pole you find some kupfer,” (German word for copper). Clue #6 part D, “It’s south of a small sujeira road by retuerk and your see.” (Portuguese word for dirt and Kreuter spelled backward).

Thanks to all who participated in CABA Treasure Hunt 2012, let’s all look forward to next year and the new hiding place for the coin with it’s treasured reward.

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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.