The 2017 "Medallion" Hunt for the Golden Lure

The Golden Lure Has Been Found!!!


This year’s “medallion” hunt winners are Millie Olson (age 7) and Alli Tullar (age 8)! On Friday afternoon, Millie and Alli found The Golden Lure at Kuchera’s Entrance to Rambling River Park. The girls unwrapped the riddles, solved the clues, and then biked through the park to grab The Golden Lure on their way to play Kids BINGO downtown!

Because they had Farmington Dew Days buttons, Mille and Alli will split the $100 cash prize and can invite their families and friends along for a free Vermillion River Walking Tour, which will be a fun hands-on exploration of the river’s history, geology and ecology provided by Zack Mohlis Tours and Programs.

Great job girls!




Now, here are the explanations for the posted clues, and for Saturday’s un-posted tour.

Clue Explanations:

Clue 1

Dew Days is here; the end of your wait!
This year you seek a most valuable bait.
Search all the parks— the old and the newer,
To find an angling relic, The Golden Lure.

Be thorough in your search, indeed,
But these rules you must heed.
Please respect all park features,
Like benches, trees, and creatures.

The relic is not underwater, nor underground.
Within Farmington public park land is it found.


This clue introduces the hunt and the rules while informing the hunter that you are looking for a Golden Lure.

Clue 2

Find the golden fish
and be granted your wish—
to be this year’s "medallion" hunt pro.


Step up to the plate and swing for the fence
If you miss you’ll land amongst the stars.
When you’re doing it right and you’ve taken flight
Your steps should take you fairly far.

This clue sets up a red herring which is built upon in later clues. The “plate” refers to a concrete feature shaped like a baseball home plate near the veteran’s memorial at Rambling River Park. If you were to step up to the correct plate and swing for the fence in front of you and then travel far, you would end up at the other end of the park where the Golden Lure is hidden. If you “miss” by staying near the veteran’s memorial, you’ll be amongst the stars at the memorial—in the wrong place. References to step, steps, and flight, refer to a set of concrete stairs at the Kuchera Entrance to Rambling River Park near the hiding place.

Clue 3

The park for this year’s hunt is one to remember.
Be sure to return this November.
Step back in time and you’ll see,
Concrete evidence of our town’s history.

As the hunt continues and you close in on your prize,
Explore the parks with your feet and your eyes.

Remember to keep all the clues in mind,
If the Golden Lure you wish to find.

This clue continues to describe Rambling River Park while using the veterans memorial as a red herring. The veterans memorial makes this “a park to remember,” especially this November for Veteran’s Day and in the centennial year of America’s entrance into World War One. While “step back in time” and concrete evidence of our history could refer to the memorial, they also refer to the concrete stairs at the Kuchera Entrance.

Clue 4

The Golden Lure is not all gold,
A spot of red pigment marks its chin.
The same hue collected here in days of old
This river’s namesake long has it been.

There’s another namesake you’ll need.
A man about which you should read.
To learn the name of this baker,
Just say the words “Hi, clue maker!”

The red pigment referred to in this clue is vermilion, which is the namesake of the Vermillion River. The Vermillion River is so named because American Indians and early settlers gathered vermilion pigment from the river’s soil for various decorative or spiritual uses. The other namesake is Emil Kuchera, who was a baker in early Farmington as well as the operator of a vacation camp and park along the river. When Kuchera eventually donated the land to the city, it became the foundation for Rambling River Park. The original location of his camp and cabins along the river is now known as the Kuchera Entrance to Rambling River Park, though the only remnants of this settlement and buildings is one set of concrete steps which seemingly lead to nowhere! “Hi, clue maker” is an anagram for “Emil Kuchera”—if you unscramble the letters it would spell the name of the man for which the section of the park is named—a sign near the hiding location bears his name.

Clue 5

If you’re at the veteran’s memorial, you are erring.
There’s no Golden Lure there—just red herring.
Though Rambling River Park is correct,
Another Entrance you should inspect.

If you walk the path over the bridge
You will see the stairs up the ridge,
Look to the left and you’ll see,
The Schwedler maple tree.

There is where the artifact lies,
Hid by Pepperbottom so long ago,
No go and collect your prize,
A free walking tour and some extra dough!

This clue reveals that the Golden Lure is in Rambling River Park but not near the veteran’s memorial. The other entrance you should inspect is the Kuchera Entrance near 4th and Willow Streets. The second stanza directs someone directly to the Gold Lure, hidden in some hosta plants surrounding a memorial tree.

This park and this hiding location have a very interesting place within the story of the City of Farmington. I urge any of you treasure hunters to visit this spot, explore, and to read more about the history of Farmington and the importance of the Vermillion River.

Zack Mohlis Tours and Programs will also soon be offering a Vermillion River Walking Tour, highlighting the history of the river, the natural environment and ecology, the state of the river today and ways in which we can be better stewards of our water.


Legend has it that the waters of Farmington are home to a gigantic species of fish, The Farmington Leopard Lunker, though it has only been caught once before many decades ago, by Master Angler Leonard Pepperbottom. In order to catch this trophy fish, Pepperbottom needed the perfect bait so he constructed a masterpiece of a lure — The Golden Lure. After using The Golden Lure to catch the Farmington Leopard Lunker, Pepperbottom released the gigantic fish. Having caught this prized trophy fish, he hid The Golden Lure in a Farmington park to be found many years later by another worthy angler. Leonard Pepperbottom packed up his tacklebox and moved far away to South America to reel in the Peruvian Panther Perch. Your mission for this year’s “medallion” hunt is to find The Golden Lure using a few clues left behind by Leonard Pepperbottom!

A message from Master Angler Leonard Pepperbottom, scribbled after he hid the Golden Lure.

A warning to handle the lure with care;
The Golden Lure is real!
Which means that its hooks are real too!
I’ve carefully used corks to conceal
The sharp points, in order to protect you!

It sounds like the Golden Lure is a real lure with real hooks that might be sharp. But before it was hidden, the hooks were covered with corks to protect the finder. We'll want to make sure we continue to be extra careful with the lure after we find it, especially if we're treasure hunting with children.


If there are any questions, email Zack Mohlis, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.