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The Flipside with Robert R. Van Ryzin

Rats Evicted From Old SF Mint
February 28, 2008

Well, the rats have been cleaned out of the Old San Francisco Mint. No, these weren't disreputable people. Rather, they were real rats, according to a report datelined Feb. 18 from the San Francisco Chronicle by Anastasia Ustinova.

Ustinova quotes Erik Christoffersen, executive director of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, as noting that since the beginning of the Chinese Lunar Calendar's Year of the Rat, there have been no more rats spotted in the historic building at Fifth and Mission streets.

The Old Mint, famous for having survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, has now apparently withstood an invasion of furry four-footed creatures that have been entering the building through small holes.

The Chronicle notes that although the Old Mint has had rat problems for a number of years, more have moved in over the past year "after employees stopped using rat poison during some interior demolition work and a nearby vacant building was rehabilitated." Therefore, a team of professional exterminators was brought in to rid the facility of the unwanted guests.

Renovation of the Old Mint, which was built in 1874, is currently underway. Plans call for the structure to house a cultural museum, details of which are highlighted at

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About the Author
Robert R. Van Ryzin has been a coin collector for 30 years. He has served as editor of Krause Publications Coins and Coin Prices magazines since 1994. He joined the firm in 1986 after obtaining a master of fine arts degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Prior to becoming a magazine editor, he worked on World Coin News as a staff member and later served as managing editor of Numismatic News. Van Ryzin, whose specialty is U.S. coinage history, is also the award-winning author of the book Crime of 1873: The Comstock Connection (Krause Publications, 2001), as well as two earlier titles, Twisted Tails: Sifted Fact, Fantasy and Fiction from U.S. Coin History (Krause Publications, 1995) and Striking Impressions: A Visual Guide to Collecting U.S. Coins (Krause Publications, 1992).

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