Berea - Coins  LbNA # 46568

Placed DateApr 22 2009
LocationBerea, OH
Found By MickeyMouse
Last Found Apr 7 2013
Hike Distance?

You will be looking for a two cup (5x3x3½”) lock & lock container that is covered with camouflage duct tape.


MATERIALS NEEDED: The box contains only a logbook and a stamp. Please bring your own Stamp-pad or Inking pens as well as a writing instrument.


DIFFICULTY: Recovery of this box will travel on a paved all purpose trail which is suitable for strollers. The actual recovery of the box will require a very short walk through woods.
Hike Length: 1.0 mile
Elevation Gain: 100 feet


Our family has resided in Berea since 1980, but we have only recently developed an interest in letterboxing.

Although we are very fortunate that the area is rich in letterboxing opportunities, I find that few of them have themes that are specific to the Berea area.

I am now placing a number of letterboxes featuring local culture, points of interest and history.

This, my seventh Berea box, is planted to document the history of the Podunk Swamp and the counterfeit coins that were made there.



When pioneers first settled Berea, they found that a formation consisting of several lakes and a series of marshlands, know as Podunk Swamp, covered a large part of North East portion of the settlement. This land is the location of the present day cities Middelburg Heights, and Brook Park.

The swamp extended from south of Fowles Road and Lake Isaac north to Lake Abram near Sheldon and Eastland roads, and on up into the southern part of Hopkins International Airport. Around 1843, unhampered by Wetlands protection, they dug out and widened a small creek with hand shovels from Lake Abram to the Rocky River. This channel, called Abram Creek, can be seen today flowing under small bridges on Sheldon and Eastland Roads. Eventually most of the swamp was drained.

Today one of the primary industrial plants in the area is a Ford Motor company facility where engine blocks are cast. However this is not the first smelting operation in the area. For many years metal was melted down and cast into coins on a small island in the middle of the Podunk Swamp.

"But there was a certain class of men who maintained a successful rivalry with the animals in the occupancy of the swamp. On a small island, or piece of firm ground, in the midst of the morass (as mentioned in the general history) a band of counterfeiters had established a shop and supplied it with tools, and there for many years they manufactured large quantities of bogus silver, commonly called Podunk money.
A History of Cuyahoga County, p. 473, D. W. Ensign & Co. 1879"

In recent years local residents became aware of the importance of these wetlands. As a result the Cleveland Metropark district has constructed a 3.2 mile long trail of asphalt, boardwalk and public roadways connecting the remainder of Podunk Swamp.

You may find it helpful in your search to have information concerning this trail. Much more was included in the Clues to Berea - Onion which I will not repeat here. But, I do recommend that you print it out from there.

I have provided several photos of this trail here.

Driving Directions To Lake Abram:
I-71 - exit at Bagley Rd (from the north, turn right/from the south, turn left). Go past Southwest General Hospital to Eastland Rd. Turn right on Eastland Rd. and Lake Abram parking will be on the right.

NOTE: Do not be concerned about the detour signs, Eastland Rd is currently open and quit passable for one way (northbound) traffic to Sheldon Rd. When leaving as you exit the parking lot you must turn to the right. You may then turn left on 1st but you should know that as a result of construction at the far end (GROZA AND FRONT ST) you will not be able to travel north on Front St. The recommended route is to continue on a few hundred feet to Sheldon road where you will be routed back East towards I-71. Please advise of traffic pattern updates.


From the parking lot travel east along the black top all purpose trail. Soon you will find yourself on the longest of several boardwalks which are a prime feature of this trail. Stop to admire the wildlife at the viewing platform. On the far side of the Boardwalk the Blacktop trail resumes, turning to the right (south) and climbing a gentle rise. A short distance further on you will find benches on the left side where you may rest and enjoy the scenery and wildlife. The hill rising behind these benches is the general area where the counterfeiters are believed to have conducted their operations.

Continuing about 15-20 paces beyond the benches you should see two large trees on the left which are growing only a few feet apart. These twin giants are about 12-14 paces off of the path. At the back of the tree on your left between its roots you should find your coins.

Please let me know the status of this box when you find it.
It is helpful if you log your find both here and on Atlas Quest

I hope that you enjoy this adventure.