USA 1900 - 1930's - Ceylon MN

Merchant Tokens

Merchant Tokens from Ceylon, Martin County, Minnesota, USA.

Top Hat Cafe token Good for5 cents in trade
Rosenberg & Lenztoken Good for5 cents in trade
Dutchman'stoken Good for5 cents in trade
Dutchman'stoken Good for5 cents in trade (Cup)
Gus & Squiz token Good for5 cents in trade
Gus & Squiz token Good for1 $ in trade
Ceylon Post #529token Good for35 cents in trade
Ceylon Legion Post #529token Good for55 cents in trade
H. P. Andrews token Good for5 cents in merchandise.
H. P. Andrews token Good for10 cents in merchandise.
H. P. Andrews token Good for25 cents in merchandise.
H. P. Andrews token Good for50 cents in merchandise.
Prust & Boehnetoken Good for10 cents in merchandise.
Buke's Place token Good forOne Drink
Ceylon Dairy Stopper Milk Bottle

I am looking for any Tokens from Ceylon MN - If you have any please E-mail with details and description.

I first came across this place in 1997 November when my son searching an encyclopedia on cdrom with keyword Ceylon, brought up the page that said US vice president Walter Mondale was born in Ceylon. I sent E-mail to four residents I found listed under Ceylon MN and had this illuminating correspondence with Gerald Rosenberg who said I quote
"The railroad came through this part of Minnesota in 1899, and that is when the town was born. At that time, legend has it, there was a gathering in a local general store, were they were trying to pick out a name for their new settlement. Someone saw a box of Tea that was from "Ceylon", and suggested that as a name. Apparently the name was adopted!
Ceylon has been my address for all my fifty some years, except for a couple when I was in the US military. When I was a boy, it was a very busy town, with the population of something just over 500 souls. As I write this, about the only thing still active in town is the bank, a grocery story, grain terminal, post office, plus a couple other small businesses. The High School, just this summer has been torn down, because of the lack of students. Sad to lose - many fond memories there!"

According to the history In the early days Ceylon was known as the "Biggest Little Town in Minnesota" The population was growing in this tight knit little boom town. Many businesses prospered. Two hardware stores, two pool halls, a drug store, hotel, hatchery, clothing stores, a garage, barber-shops a blacksmith shop, harness shop ...
Farm families came to town to shop on Wednesday and Saturday nights to sell their produce and to buy their week's supply of groceries. The kids went to the movie theater to watch cowboy shows and the women visited in the cafe and grocery stores while the men went across the street.
It is reported, by the grapevine, that Ceylon hosted illicit gambling games during this time including card games; dice, punch-boards, and one-armed-bandits. Many of the games were played on Saturday nights. Several out of town brothers wore their suits under their coveralls. In the wee small hours of the morning when the game was over, they skinned out of their coveralls and attended early morning mass before going home.
Problems were on going for the gamblers, with too many raids taking place at the pool-hall and hotel. In 1910 there are 4 saloons, which temperance people of Ceylon were anxious to put out of business.

Snow in Ceylon 1918
Ceylon Snow 1918
State Bank of Ceylon
State Bank of Ceylon
Ceylon celebrated its centenary in 2000 July and had a website with a lot of historical images of the place which went off-line. Now linked to an almost complete copy I have put back online.

Ceylon MN is few miles south of interstate 90 (exit 93 route 263) and just north of the Iowa border.
I must have passed that exit in 1986 Sept, when I drove across USA from Boston MA to Victoria BC in Canada. Next time I am in Minnesota I clearly must make a visit. I am glad to have opened an account in the State Bank of Ceylon.

Ceylon MN

The land area is 0.65 square miles. In 2000 the population was 413 with 189 housing units, down from 461 in 200 units in 1990. In 2005 September I did a road trip to four of the five places in USA named Ceylon.
Among them Ceylon MN is the largest and the only place to have it's own Zipcode 56121.

I thank Gerald Rosenberg for the history of Ceylon MN, and sending me a copy of the Ceylon Centennial website on CDROM.

From the only restaurant listed on the Internet a ballpoint Pen COMPLIMENT'S OF

Petersen's Coffee Shop Pen
PETERSEN'S COFFEE SHOP / 104 E Main Street / Ceylon MN 56121 / 507-632-4515

See a more complete catatog of Ceylon Minnesota Tokens
See also Ceylon Minnesota Currency

This webpage on Americana hosted by Lakdiva : a website for Coins and Coffee Tokens of Ceylon (SriLanka).