Photo: The Wallaces made it a family affair in searching for the 2011 Sugar Grove Corn Boil Medallion, which they found in a Bliss Woods tree stump. “It was a lot of fun and helped get together the whole family,” Sophie Wallace said. Courtesy Photo
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The search for the 2011 Corn Boil Medallion came to a conclusion on July 28 when Sugar Grove resident Sophie Wallace discovered the medallion hidden inside a large tree stump located in Bliss Woods.
Luckily for Sophie, she didn’t travel to the longitude given as a final clue to the medallion search. Otherwise, she might’ve ended up in China.
“The last clue was supposed to give it away, but fortunately for us, the latitude given as a clue was incorrect,” she said. “It said the medallion was somewhere located with a latitude of 46 north and longitude of 88 west. My dad’s really good with numbers, so he went to Mapquest and typed in the latitude and longitude but it sent him to China.”
Sophie’s father quickly figured out that the latitude was 41, not 46, and entered the coordinates into an Earth map on Google. According to Sophie, the resulting image showed two bridges in Bliss Woods, with the marked location of the medallion nearby.
Sophie and her father, Dana, weren’t the only Wallaces in on the medallion hunt, either.
“My family had been looking for (the medallion) for about three weeks,” said Sophie’s mother, Janet. “The more we read the clues, it seemed the harder it was because we kept finding double meanings and second guessing our first choice. The first few clues were vague but they got more detailed as time went on.”
The Wallaces have been Sugar Grove residents for about seven years, and actually live no more than two miles from the site where the medallion was hidden, though the family certainly didn’t feel like it had much of an advantage after learning of the medallion’s proper geographic coordinates. In fact, the Wallaces experienced rival competition upon arriving at Bliss Woods.
“When (my mom and two younger sisters Stacy and Summer) got out of the car, we spotted another car with a man and woman,” Sophie said. “The man raced towards the same area to which we were going. We saw a small embankment with a stone wall and stream. My mom said, ‘I bet it’s down there, because you have to climb, crawl and stretch, according to one of the clues.’”
Sophie and her mom immediately jumped into the stream, at which point Sophie reached up into the tree stump and found the medallion in a crack hidden behind a large rock.
“We all screamed, ‘we found it, we found it,’” Sophie said.
As winners of the 2011 Corn Boil Medallion Hunt, the Wallaces were awarded $50 and a crystal medallion with Bob Carroll’s likeness etched into it. Carroll introduced the Medallion Hunt event to the Corn Boil and was known at the “Medallion King.” He passed away in December 2010 at the age of 71.
“(Finding the medallion) was cool because we got to ride in the parade at the Corn Boil,” Sophie said. “After meeting Bob Carroll’s family, we realized just how much this event meant to him, and what a caring person he was.”
According to Sophie, there’s much more to the Medallion Hunt than money and crystal medallion prizes.
“It was really a lot of fun and helped get together the whole family,” she said.