Daily Times (Primos, PA)
Rose Valley offers reward for return of stolen icons
ROSE VALLEY » The borough is offering a $5,000 reward for the return of the historic bronze plaque and life-size beaver statue marking the Minquas Trail on Rose Valley Road.
The items, mounted at the corner of Thunderbird Lodge and the entrance to the Traymore development, were removed between 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Each weighs several hundred pounds.
“They stole the heart of Rose Valley,” said Mayor Tim Plummer. “We celebrate the role of the Minquas in Rose Valley’s past.”
The marker, dated 1926, was designed by artist Charles Stephens, who with his wife, painter and engraver Alice Barber Stephens, lived and worked in Thunderbird Lodge. The beaver was created by Stephen’s friend, sculptor Albert Laessle.
The trail connects the Susquehanna and Schuylkill rivers and the monument designates the portion that passes through the borough. The Minquas Indians used the path in the 1600s to trade thousands of beaver pelts each year with Dutch and Swedish settlers living along on the Delaware River. Thunderbird Lodge and approximately 100 houses in the borough are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the marker was specifically mentioned in each nomination.
“The museum is crushed about the situation,” said Rose Valley Museum Vice President Sue Keilbaugh. “We are hoping and praying we get them back and that they have not already been melted down.”
While the surrounding land is owned by the borough, the monument is situated on a small parcel of state land. The items have been added to the FBI’s National
Stolen Art File.
The reward will be paid if the plaque and statue are returned unharmed, no questions asked. Anyone with information regarding the items is asked to leave a message with the borough office (610566-2040 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or museum (email@example.com).