The Silver Half Dollar's Blog

15 Dec 2019

A Book Review of a Mighty Fortress: The Stories Behind the 2nd San Francisco Mint

Young Numismatists Exchange | The Silver Half Dollar

A Mighty Fortress: The Stories Behind the 2nd San Francisco Mint by Richard G. Kelly and Nancy Y. Oliver is a great book about the history of the San Francisco mint. This wonderful book begins by talking about the Granite Lady, also known as the 2nd San Francisco Mint in addition to a brief amount on the other active U.S. mints, the Denver Mint, Philadelphia Mint, and West Point Mint. This book gives some context of the time period surrounding the building of the San Francisco Mint before diving into the construction of the mint. Then, the book details the scandal of the mint, and how a mint clerk was accused of losing several thousand dollars. In addition, this book talks about the security features of the mint that prevented a "direct forceful robbery of the Granite Lady in its entire tenure as an operating mint (Kelly and Oliver 50)." Next, the book talks about the coins made here and the rarities of 1893 and 1894. Later in this book, the authors wonderfully detail how coins went missing from the mint. I found it interesting how the mint managed to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire that destroyed San Francisco. At the end of the book, it talks about how the mint became a museum that closed and became abandoned. The last pages list the superintendents of the 2nd San Francisco Mint.

All in all, this is a well-written book that I would recommend.



Level 5

Ill check it out!


Level 3

Sounds very interesting, I’ll think about getting a copy.

Sounds like a great book. I shall have to find a copy. Also a very well written review.


Level 7

Sounds like a good one. The books we pick are important to us and how we interpret them. Thank. Yes I'm back in about ten days. So I was this and had to comment my friend. Thank you for you good wishes. Mike


Level 6

Sounds like a good read. Thanks

It's Mokie

Level 6

Sounds like a very interesting read, will have to look for this as the cold winter evenings invite cocoa and a good book.


Level 4

nice, very well done!


Level 4


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