LaBelle Heritage Museum Discovers Silver Dollar

The swearing in of officers at the LaBelle Heritage Museum. (Caloosa Belle/Geoffrey Ionesu)

LaBelle – At the annual LaBelle Heritage Museum Potluck Dinner and the installation of incoming officers, Joe Thomas, President of the LaBelle Heritage Museum, explained the story of the silver dollar:

“Jackie Ratica, of Special Concrete Design Inc. found the 1912 Barber Half Dollar while working on the museum’s foundation. We found out that apparently it is a tradition that when you build a building, you put a coin of that year in the buildings foundation to show when it was constructed, but also to make sure that everyone who either lives or works in the building is never without money,” says Joe.

“When we found this out we wanted to continue the tradition and I tried to find a Kennedy Half Dollar. So I went to all of the major banks in LaBelle and they all looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for a Kennedy 2018 Half Dollar. Eventually after putting a call out on Facebook. Megan Harris, a great great great granddaughter of William Hardy Poole and his wife Nancy Ellen ‘Ellie’ Kirkland Poole who built the building back in 1912, donated a 2018 Liberty Dollar to commemorate the building’s original construction in 1912 and its major historic rehabilitation in 2018,” Joe explained.

The evening concluded with the installation of the incoming officers by the former president of the LaBelle Heritage Museum Tom Sargent. Thomas A. Smith, better known as Tommy Smith, is returning to the board as a director for a three-year term. Ron Zimmerly will continue as Treasurer of the museum. He shall excerise all duties of the office of Treasurer and must be one of the officers signing any check or draft to the museum. Lucy Guy Welch will continue as Secretary of the museum, keeping the records of the museum in appropriate books and be the official custiodian of its records and corporate seal. Patricia Newell Johnson is the newly elected Vice-President who shall, in the abscense of the current President, become acting President. Patricia will also assume general chairmanship of the museum’s annual fundraiser that has become the unofficial kickoff of the Swamp Cabbage Festival.

Joe Thomas will continue as President, he shall preside at all membership meetings, act as chairman of the Board of Directors and has all the powers belonging to the chief executive of any organization.

Geoffrey Ionescu can be reached at

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