OTD: Mounties ordered to move western headquarters

On today’s date in 1882, the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) – a predecessor to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) – was ordered to move its western headquarters from Fort Walsh to Pile of Bones (present-day Regina).

The Royal Canadian Mint featured the RCMP on its 1998 Proof double dollar set, the only set to feature both a commemorative silver dollar and the aureate dollar depicting the common loon. The set also includes a 50-, 25-, 10-, 5- and 1-cent coin as well as a toonie.

The Proof silver dollar, designed by Adeline Halvorson, commemorates the 125th anniversary of the founding of the NWMP, which would later become the RCMP. The coin’s reverse features a member of the NWMP. The obverse bears the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by artist Dora de Pedery-Hunt.

This 25-cent coin was struck in 1973 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

This 25-cent coin was struck in 1973 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

In 1873, Parliament passed an act to establish a “Mounted Police Force for the North-West Territories”. The following year, the first 300 members of the NWMP came to present-day Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Over the next decade, NWMP headquarters relocated several times – from Fort Garry, Fort Dufferin, Swan River, Fort Macleod and Fort Walsh – before eventually settling on a central location beside Wascana Creek, just outside Regina, Sask.

Completed in September 1882, Regina Town Station was the first police station in Regina.

In 1973, the Mint featured the RCMP on the reverse side of its 25-cent caribou piece to celebrate the national police force’s 100th anniversary. Designed by Paul Cederberg, the coin depicts an RCMP officer atop his horse, with 100 stylized beads struck around the edge.

The “Large Bust” 1973 25-cent piece (pictured above) was struck with the back die of the 1972 quarter, which featured a larger bust of Queen Elizabeth II and less than 100 beads.

The “Large Bust” 1973 25-cent piece (pictured above) was struck with the back die of the 1972 quarter, which featured a larger bust of Queen Elizabeth II and less than 100 beads.

According to the Charlton guide, of the nearly 136 million 25-cent pieces struck by the Mint in 1973, about 10,000 were accidentally made using the back die of the previous year’s quarter, which featured a larger bust of Queen Elizabeth and less than 100 beads. The scarce ’72-back “Large Bust” variety is incredibly valuable while the regular ’73 pieces, featuring the “Small Bust” reverse design, are worth only face value.

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