Adventurers can discover Coalville’s treasured history through the Summit County Library’s geocache challenge
Participants need a GPS unit or smartphone to get started
The Summit County Library Coalville branch has initiated a summer-long treasure hunt.
The public is invited to embark on a geocache challenge that runs through Aug. 18, said Susan Murphy, Coalville Branch library manager.
“All people need is a GPS unit or a smartphone where they can download the free geocaching app,”Murphy said. “People can visit our website and download the map, or visit any Summit County Library branch and pick up a flier.”
Participants will then use these tools to locate items in five historic locations throughout the town, she said.
“A sticker that they can attach to the flier will be available at each location,” Murphy said. “When they’ve found all five, they just turn the flier or map into us.”
The librarians will announce winners a week after the challenge ends, and the winners will receive $25 gift cards to the town’s local restaurants as prizes, according to Murphy.
Librarians worked with Joe Frazier, the library’s historical museum director and Summit County historian, to choose these locations, all of which are within walking distance from the Coalville branch, Murphy said.
“We picked some places we thought would be cool to showcase,” she said. “For those looking for a little exercise, the total of steps to conclude the challenge is 6,723 steps, and people can also drive to these spots if they want.”
Murphy discovered a lot about Coalville history during her meetings with Frazier.
“For example, the library stands on the place where the Coalville hospital once stood, and the hospital was built in 1935,” she said. “I also found out that crews unearthed human remains that belonged to early pioneers when they were building the North Summit schools.”
To honor the pioneers, the school district’s shop classes built some caskets, and the whole town hosted a funeral procession.
“The caskets were reburied close to the cemetery that is marked with a memorial for these early pioneers,” Murphy said.
In addition to learning about Coalville history, Murphy found it a challenge to find places to set the geocaches.
“It was a learning curve for us, because I didn’t know the geocaches needed to be at least 523 feet apart from one another,” she said. “It’s funny, because we discovered a couple of other geocaching items that were placed years ago. So we had to maneuver around those locations.”
The Coalville branch librarians formulated the geocache challenge while brainstorming about the library’s upcoming summer programs.
“We wanted to come up with things that would get older kids and families outside, because we decided not to hold any programs, including story times, inside,” Murphy said. “We also wanted to add some extra special things this year to draw in more kids, families and teenagers, because we weren’t able to initiate any summer programming last year due to COVID-19. So, when I read about other libraries doing geocaching, I thought this would be a good program, because I think Coalville is a quaint and cool little town.”
Coalville branch librarian Diane Brown also jumped onto the geocaching expedition and dug up some more research to get a better understanding of the activity in Summit County.
“There are hundreds of geocaches in our county, it’s pretty amazing,” Brown said in a statement. “I’ve become a bit of a geocache fanatic and have pulled off the road on the way to the grocery store, just to search for a geocache.”
Murphy hopes the geocache challenge will draw out-of-town visitors to the library and town.
“We thought the challenge would be a good way to get people in town jazzed to come to the library, and we also thought it would bring people from other parts of the county to visit the town and library and spend time visiting one of the family-owned restaurants along Coalville’s Main Street.”
When: Through Aug. 18
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