Tracking #NPSLIVE Events

With more than 200 National Parks now closed to the public, many sites are beginning to do livestream events, bringing their parks to the public during this period of of social separation. I’m going to try and keep track of a running list of these events here and encourage the use of the hashtag #NPSLive to spread the word! All times Eastern.

Upcoming Events

April 6, 2020

  • 1pm – Flight 93 National Memorial (Facebook)
  • 2pm – Capitol Reef National Park – Pleasant Creek (Facebook)
  • 7pm – James A. Garfield NHS (Twitter Q&A)

April 7, 2020

  • 9am – Northeast Museum Services Center (Facebook)
  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)
  • 12pm – Petrified Forest National Park – Teaching Tuesday (Facebook)
  • 1pm – Johnstown Flood National Memorial (Facebook)
  • 2pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)
  • 4pm – Petrified Forest National Park – Teaching Tuesday (Facebook)

April 10, 2020

  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)

April 11, 2020

  • 12 noon – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)

April 14, 2020

  • 9am – Northeast Museum Services Center (Facebook)
  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)
  • 2pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)

April 17, 2020

  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)

April 18, 2020

  • 2pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)

April 21, 2020

  • 9am – Northeast Museum Services Center (Facebook)
  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)
  • 2pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)

April 24, 2020

  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)

April 25, 2020

  • 12 noon – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)

April 28, 2020

  • 9am – Northeast Museum Services Center (Facebook)
  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)
  • 2pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)

May 5, 2020

  • 9am – Northeast Museum Services Center (Facebook)
  • 11am – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Facebook)
  • 2pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS (Facebook)

Previous Events

April 5, 2020

  • 10am – Cuyahoga Valley National Park (live)

April 4, 2020

April 3, 2020

April 2, 2020

April 1, 2020

March 31, 2020

March 30, 2020

March 29, 2020

  • 2pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS – Toni Morrison Remembers (Facebook)
  • 3pm – Little Rock Central High School NHS – Q&A (Facebook)

March 28, 2020

March 27, 2020

March 26, 2020

  • 2pm – LIttle Rock Central High School NHS – The Little Rock Nine Stand Up for Their Rights (Facebook)
  • 5pm – Capitol Reef National Park – Q&A (Facebook)

March 24, 2020

March 23, 2020

  • 2pm – Reconstruction Era NHP – Ranger Chat (Facebook)

March 20, 2020

  • 2pm – Reconstruction Era NHP – Walking Tour (Facebook)
  • 3pm – Shiloh NMP – Civil War Uniforms (Facebook)
Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

Tracking NPS Closures

This is an ongoing tracker of closures in the National Park Service due to the ongoing public health crisis. The core of this list is any case where the Park is “substantially closed.” I’m not including those cases where only the visitor center is closed, but the Park can still be substantially visited. Also included are all parks whose grounds are otherwise open, but in states where a shelter-in-place order has been given, effectively restricting travel to that site. Sites with restricted access due to a shelter-in-place order are marked with { }. Finally, additional closure information that does not impact the running total are marked with [ ].

April 6, 2020 – 225 Total + 137 Shelter-in-Place

  • <{Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial – reopens from 3/23 closure, now covered by Columbia Shelter-in-Place order}>
  • <{Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial – reopens from 3/23 closure, now covered by Columbia Shelter-in-Place order}>
  • <{Thomas Jefferson Memorial – reopens from 3/23 closure, now covered by Columbia Shelter-in-Place order?>
  • <[National Capital Parks: Tidal Basin Unit – reopens from 3/23 closure, now covered by Columbia Shelter-in-Place order]>

April 5, 2020 (228 Total + 134 Shelter-in-Place)

April 5, 2020 Alabama & Missouri Shelter-in-Place

April 4, 2020 (227 Total + 129 Shelter-in-Place Restricted)

April 4, 2020 Mississippi Shelter-in-Place

April 3, 2020 (224 Total + 126 Shelter-In-Place Restricted)

  • [Andersonville NHS (cemetery to be closed weekends, historic site closed 3/24, VC closed 3/18)]
  • Big Bend National Park (campgrounds and lodging closed 3/23, river activities closed 3/20, restaurant moved to takeout only 3/19, VCs and backcountry camping closed 3/17
  • [Cumberland Island National Seashore (full closure; VC, campground, & ferry service closed 3/18)]
  • [Dry Tortugas National Park (all islands closed 4/3, campground and restroom closed 3/23, VCs closed 3/17, commercial service suspended 3/16, waters and harbors remain open]
  • [Jimmy Carter NHS (full closure; VC, buildings, and restrooms closed 3/18)]
  • Lyndon B. Johnson NHP (LBJ Ranch closed 4/3, SIP 4/2, VC closed at earlier date, Texas White House long-term closure), Johnson Settlement and Boyhood home grounds remain open)
  • [North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan, NRA, Ross Lake NRA, (full closure, front country closed 3/25, SIP 3/24,
    information center closed 3/20)]
  • Zion National Park (campgrounds closed 3/25, Angel’s Landing Trail closed 3/24, Shuttle suspended and VCs closed 3/17)

April 3, 2020 Florida Shelter-in-Place

April 2, 2020 (223 Total + 126 Shelter-in-Place Restricted)

  • Buffalo National River (full closure, day use only 3/30, VCs, showers, and picnics closed 3/17)
  • [Congaree National Park (full closure, front country closed 3/26, restrooms closed 3/22, campgrounds closed 3/20, VC closed 3/17)]
  • [Hot Springs National Park (campground, restrooms, and picnic area closed 4/2, VC and buildings closed 3/18)]
  • Russell Cave National Monument (VC closed 3/18)

April 2, 2020 Texas Shetler-in-Place

April 1, 2020 (223 Total + 120 Shelter-in-Place Restricted)

  • [Arkansas Post National Memorial (VC closed 4/1, grounds remain open)]
  • [Everglades National Park (back country chickees closed 4/1 (beach camping and waters still open), North Nest Key Area closed 3/28, front country closed 3/21, VCs closed 3/17)]
  • Grand Canyon National Park (full closure, day use only and some trails closed 3/27, Yavapai Lodge closed 3/22, Xanterra -operated Lodges closed 3/20, river closed 3/20, restraurants closed 3/19, shuttles closed 3/17, VCs closed 3/16)
  • [Joshua Tree National Park (full closure, roads and campgrounds closed 3/21, VCs closed 3/17)]
  • Hovenweep National Monument (campground closed 3/23, VC closed 3/19)
  • Natural Bridges National Monument (campground closed 3/23, VC closed 3/19)
  • [Niobrara National Scenic River (VC Closed 4/1)]

April 1, 2020 Nevada Shelter-in-Place

April 1, 2020 Columbia Shelter-in-Place

April 1, 2020 Arizona & Tennessee Shelter-in-Place

March 31, 2020 (220 Total + 99 Shelter-in-Place Restriction)

  • [Ninety-Six NHS (fishing pond closed, restrooms closed 3/24, VC closed 3/18)]

March 31, 2020 Maryland & North Carolina, Shelter-in-Place

March 30, 2020 (220 Total + 91 Shelter-In-Place Restriction)

March 30, 2020 Virginia Shelter-in-Place

March 30, 2020 Kansas Shelter-in-Place

March 29, 2020 (218 Total + 76 SIP)

  • Fort Laramie NHS (VC and historic buildings closed 3/29, grounds and trails remain open)
  • Redwood National Park (pedestrian access only, SIP 3/20, closed backcountry camping 3/23, campgrounds 3/20, VCs 3/18)

March 28, 2020 (216 Total + 77 SIP Restricted)

March 28, 2020 Kaibab Paiute (Arizona) & Crow Nation (Montana) Shelter-in-Place

March 28, 2020 Minnesota, Montana, & New Hampshire Shelter-In-Place

March 28, 2020 Alaska Shetler-In-Place

March 27, 2020 (207 Total + 54 SIP Restricted)

  • [Big Thicket National Preserve (VC closed 3/27)]
  • [Bryce Canyon National Park (campground closed and restrooms day-use only 3.27, VC closed 3/17)]
  • Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve (Trails closed 3/30, parking lot remains open, SIP 3/24, Ebey House closed seasonally through Memorial Day, HQ closed 3/17)
  • Glacier National Park (VCs closed 3/20)
  • [Lassen Volcanic National Park (full closure – SIP 3/20, VC closed 3/18, most of the park already closed for the season]
  • [Ozark National Scenic Riverways (day use only 3/27, popular trails closed 3/27, VC closed 3/20)]
  • Whitman Mission NHS (parking lot and picnic area closed 3/27, SIP 3/24, VC closed 3/18)

March 26, 2020 (204 Total + 56 SIP Restricted)

March 26, 2020 Colorado, Kentucky, & Vermont Shelter-in-Place

March 25, 2020 (195 Total + 48 SIP Restricted)

  • Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument (restroom remains open for visitors to Lake Meredith NRA)
  • [Big South Fork NRA – Closed to all overnight use, day use remains open, VC closed 3/17]
  • [Guadalupe Mountains National Park (day use only, VCs closed 3/18)]
  • Lake Chelan NRA
  • North Cascades National Park (information center closed 3/20)
  • [Obed WSR – Closed to all overnight use, day use remains open, VC closed 3/17]
  • Prince William Forest Park (pedestrian access only 3/25, restrooms and campgrounds closed 3/24, VC closed 3/17)
  • Ross Lake NRA
  • [Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (full closure, front country closed 3/20, VCs closed 3/17)]
  • Valley Forge NHP (full closure, SIP and facility closure on 3/23)

March 25, 2020 Idaho Shelter-in-Place

March 25, 2020 Bexar County & Cameron County (Texas) Shelter-In-Place

March 25, 2020 West Virginia Shelter-in-Place

March 25, 2020 Indiana & Wisconsin Shelter-in-Place

March 24, 2020 (186 Total + 39 SIP restricted)

March 24, 2020 Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, & Michigan Shelter-in-Place

March 24, 2020 – Oregon & Connecticut Shelter-in-Place

March 24, 2020 New Mexico Shelter-in-Place

March 24, 2020 Washington Shelter-In-Place

  • {Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve (grounds remain open), Ebey House closed seasonally through Memorial Day, HQ closed 3/17 }
  • {Lake Chelan NRA (information center closed 3/20)}
  • Lake Roosevelt NRA (VCs, boat docks, campground, and restrooms closing 3/24)
  • Mount Rainier National Park (pedestrian access only beginning 3/24, VCs closed 3/19)
  • {North Cascades National Park (information center closed 3/20) }
  • Olympic National Park (full closure, campgrounds closed 3/22, VCs closed 3/17)
  • {Ross Lake NRA (information center closed 3/20)}
  • {San Juan Island NHP (grounds open, VC Closed 3/18)}
  • {Whitman Mission NHS (grounds open, VC Closed 3/18)

March 23, 2020 (173 Total + 17 SIP Restricted)

March 22, 2020 (158 Total + 16 SIP Restricted)

March 22, 2020 New Jersey Shelter-in-Place

March 21, 2020 (149 Total + 14 SIP Restricted)

March 21, 2020 (Miami-Dade County Shelter-in-Place)

March 21, 2020 (Illinois & New York Shelter-in-Place)

March 20, 2020 (140 Total + 12 SIP Restricted)

March 20, 2020 (California Shelter-in-Place)

March 19, 2020 (124 Total + 5 SIP Restricted)

March 18, 2020 (115 Total + 5 SIP Restricted)

March 18, 2020 – Moab Closes to Outside Overnight Visitors

  • {Arches National Park (VC & campground closed)}
  • {Canyonlands National Park (All VCs & campgrounds closed)}

March 18, 2020 – Dare County Closure to Outside Visitors

  • {Cape Hatteras National Seashore (VCs and camping closed 3/17)}
  • {Fort Raleigh NHS (VC closed 3/17)}
  • {Wright Brothers National Memorial (VC closed 3/17)}

March 17, 2020 (86 Total)

  • Adams NHP
  • [National Park of American Samoa – VC closed, grounds remain open]
  • Appomattox Court House NHP
  • Booker T. Washington National Monument (buildings)
  • Boston Harbor Islands NRA
  • Cane River Creole NHP (buildings)
  • Carl Sandburg Home NHS
  • Carter Woodson Home NHS
  • Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
  • Castillo San Marcos National Monument
  • Channel Islands National Park (mainland VC and all Island Packers trips)
  • Clara Barton NHS
  • Eleanor Roosevelt NHS
  • First Ladies NHS
  • Fort Caroline National Memorial
  • Fort Matanzas National Monument
  • Fort McHenry National Monument (fort and VC)
  • Fort Pulaski National Monument
  • Fort Raleigh NHS (buildings only)
  • Fort Vancouver NHS
  • Frederick Douglass NHS
  • Gateway NRA
  • Gateway Arch National Park (arch tram)
  • George Washington Birthplace National Monument (buildings)
  • Grant-Kohrs NHS (buildings only)
  • Hampton NHS (buildings only)
  • Harry S Truman NHS (VC & Truman home closed, farm grounds in Grandview remain open)
  • Harriet Tubman NHP
  • Harriet Tubman UGRR NHP
  • Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt NHS
  • James A. Garfield NHS (grounds & cell phone tour remain open)
  • Klondike Gold Rush NHP – Seattle Unit
  • Lincoln Home NHS
  • Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters NHS
  • Lowell NHP (buildings)
  • Maggie Walker NHS
  • Manzanar NHS
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. NHS
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS
  • Natchez NHP
  • New Orleans Jazz NHP
  • River Raisin National Battlefield Park
  • Sagamore Hill NHS (buildings only)
  • Salem Maritime NHS
  • Steamtown NHS
  • Thomas Edison NHP
  • Timucuan National Preserve
  • Tonto National Monument
  • Vanderbilt Mansion NHS
  • Women’s Rights NHP

March 17, 2020 – Bay Area Shelter in Place

  • Eugene O’Neill NHS
  • [Golden Gate NRA (full closure)]
  • John Muir NHS
  • Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front NHP
  • Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
  • San Francisco Maritime NHP

March 16, 2020 (32 Total)

  • African Burial Ground National Monument
  • Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS (buildings only)
  • Boston NHP
  • Boston African American NHS
  • Castle Clinton National Monument
  • Dry Tortugas National Park (commercial service suspended)
  • Edgar Allan Poe NHS
  • Eisenhower NHS
  • Federal Hall National Memorial
  • Friendship Hill NHS (buildings only)
  • General Grant National Memorial
  • [Gettysburg NMP – VC only]
  • Hamilton Grange National Memorial
  • Independence NHP
  • Johnstown Flood National Memorial (buildings only)
  • Manhattan Project NHP (All Three Units)
  • New Bedford Whaling NHP
  • Roger Williams National Memorial
  • Saint Paul’s Church NHS
  • Statue of Liberty National Monument (incl. Ellis Island)
  • Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS

March 16, 2020 (Puerto Rico Curfew)

  • San Juan NHS

March 15, 2020 (10 Total)

  • Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument (Civil Rights Institute)
  • Canyon de Chelly National Monument (Navajo Nation Access)
  • Fort Point NHS
  • Golden Gate NRA (Alcatraz Island and other Facilities)
  • Muir Woods National Monument

March 14, 2020 (5 Total)

  • Belmont-Paul National Monument
  • [Dayton Aviation NHP (Dunbar House Unit Only)]
  • Ford’s Theatre NHS
  • [Pennsylvania Avenue NHS (Old Post Office Tower)]
  • Washington Monument

March 12, 2020 (2 Total)

  • Kalaupapa NHP
  • The White House (Tours Suspended)

March 10, 2020 (0 Total)

  • National Park of American Samoa – travel restriction from the United States lifted as being impractical

March 9, 2020 (1 Total)

  • National Park of American Samoa – Travelers from the United States must spend 14 days in Hawaii and obtain a health clearance 3 days before arriving in American Samoa

18 Pre-Existing Closures

  • Arlington House (repairs)
  • Cedar Breaks National Monument (VC closed seasonally until late May)
  • Devils Postpile National Monument (seasonally closed until mid-June)
  • Governors Island National Monument (seasonally closed until 5/1)
  • Hohokam Pima National Monument (permanent)
  • Honouliuli NHS (long-term)
  • Isle Royale National Park (HQ VC closed 3/18, seasonally closed until 4/15)
  • Jewel Cave National Monument (VC closed 3/19, cave closed through May 2020 for repairs)
  • Keweenaw NHP (seasonally closed until May)
  • John F. Kennedy NHS (long-term until 2021)
  • Martin van Buren NHS (seasonal closure until 4/18)
  • Perry’s Victory Memorial (seasonally closed until 5/16)
  • Saint Croix Island IHS (seasonally closed until mid-April)
  • Saugus Iron Works NHS (buildings seasonally closed until June 1)
  • Springfield Armory NHS (repairs)
  • Timpanogos Cave National Monument (seasonally closed until 5/22)
  • Valles Caldera National Preserve (visitor services seasonally closed until 5/15)
  • Wind Cave National Park (repairs, campground closed 3/27, VC closed 3/18)

Historic Sites That May Remain Open

  • Tumacacori NHP (Church Open, VC closed)

Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

Jimmy Carter NHS Adds New Cancellations, and More!

The List for September-December 2019

Jimmy Carter NHS |
– Plains High School – Plains, GA
– Plains Depot – 1976 Campaign HQ
– Boyhood Farm – Archery, GA

Badlands National Park | Ben Reifel VC – Interior, SD

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park | Swains Lock #21 – Travilah, MD

Chickasaw National Recreation Area | Travertine Nature Center 50th Anniversary 1969-2019

Honouliuli National Historic Site | Waipahu, HI

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park | Atlanta, GA

Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve | Illinois Valley Visitor Center

White Sands National Park | Alamogordo, NM

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network |
– Columbia Crossing River Trails Center
– Sultana Education Foundation
– Zimmerman Center for Heritage

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail | Yankton, SD

Stories Behind the Stamps

This historic train depot was Jimmy Carter’s campaign headquarters, and has a new cancellation this month. Photo courtesy Steve Beningo from 2012.

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site gets three cancellations this month, two of them new. The main visitor center for this park has always been located in the former Plains High School, and this new stamp replaces the existing cancellation for the park. Just around the corner is the Plains Train Depot, which Jimmy Carter used as the headquarters for his 1976 Presidential Campaign. The third location, the farm where Jimmy Carter grew up, is located about three miles outside of town.

The Carter NHS is unusual in that Jimmy Carter himself rather famously still lives in this town. It is hard to overstate just how small the tiny town of Plains really is – but with a population of fewer than 800, it is very, very small. Thus, Jimmy Carter effectively lives in a national park dedicated in his honor. The situation definitely left with me with mixed feelings on my previous visit to this site. On one hand, it would surely be foolish to hold off on the process of protecting historic resources associated with Presidents until those Presidents have passed away. On the other hand, it is surely an odd situation for any human being to live out ones life while surrounded by such a situation.

For many park travelers, one of the highlights of a visit to Jimmy Carter NHS is supplementing the trip with a visit to Maranatha Baptist Church, located just outside of town, where Jimmy Carter himself still regularly teaches Sunday School before Sunday morning worship services. The former President then regularly poses for photographs and selfies with the attendees. Particularly if this aligns with your own faith traditions, attending Sunday School with the honoree of a Unit of the National Park System is certainly a unique opportunity – and an opportunity that will only last for a handful more years, given that Jimmy Carter is 95 years old, albeit a very healthy 95 years old. This month’s new cancellations provide another reason to go and take advantage of that opportunity, should you be interested.

Black-eyed susans grow along the banks of the Missouri National Recreational River near Yankton, South Dakota, which has a new cancellation this month for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Photo from 2010.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park just received a cancellation for the newly-restored Swain’s Lock less than a year ago back in November 2018. Its not clear why a slightly different cancellation was issued this month. Meanwhile, Badlands National Park in South Dakota has issued a cancellation that simply updates the name of the main park visitor center. Honouliuli National Historic Site, White Sands National Park, and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park both received new cancellations reflecting their new designation names.

Chicakasaw National Recreation Area can be found in south-central Oklahoma. It preserves a number of natural springs, as well as providing resevoir-based recreation. Their new cancellation this month celebrates the 50th anniversary of their Travertine Nature Center.

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail has issued an updated cancellation to be located at the visitor center and headquarters for the Missouri National Recreational River in Yankton, South Dakota. The Missouri National Recreational River preserves two free-flowing segments of the mighty Missouri River amidst a large stretch that has otherwise been heavily dammed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The final three cancellations this month for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network partnership program are for three locations that already had Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail cancellations. The Columbia Crossing Center is located on the Susquehanna River in the town of Columbia, Pennysylvania and the nearby Zimmerman Center for Heritage is located just downstream in the town of Wrightsville. The Sultana Education Center can be found in Chestertown, Maryland on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The Sultana is a replica 18th-century schooner that is just one component of the comprehensive environmental educational programs offered by the namesake foundation.

Final Shot: Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Photo from 2006.
Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

Kate Mullany NHS Gets Its First Cancellation, And more!

The List for August 2019

Channel Islands National Park – Santa Rosa Island

Yosemite National Park |
– Happy Isles Art and Nature Center
– Mariposa Grove

Gulf Islands National Seashore |
– Rosamond Johnson Beach
– Ship Island
– William M. Colmer Visitor Center

Kate Mullany National History Site | Troy, NY

California National Historic Trail | National Frontier Trails Museum, MO
Oregon National Historic Trail | National Frontier Trails Museum, MO

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail |
– Historic Locust Grove, KY
– Nebraska City, NE
– St. Charles, MO
– Steubenville, OH
– Trail of Tears State Park, MO

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail |
– Natchez Trace PKWY – Meriwether Lewis Site, TN
– Natchez Trace PKWY – Mount Locust, TN
– Natchez Trace PKWY – Ridgeland, MS
– Natchez Trace PKWY – Tupelo, MS
– Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga, TN

Stories Behind the Stamps

An abandoned ranch on Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park. Nearby Santa Rosa Island is a new addition to the Passport Program this month. Photo from 2007.

Leading off this month’s list is a sixth stamp for Channel Islands National Park. Channel Islands National Park consists of five of the eight major islands located off the coast of Los Angeles in Southern California. The park includes all four of the northern islands, as well as small Santa Barbara Island to the south. Santa Rosa is the last of the five islands in the national park to get its own passport cancellation. The sixth cancellation for the Park is located at the mainland visitor center in Ventura, California.

Access to Santa Rosa Island is either by charter flight, or by a 2+hour each way concessionaire boat trip, which according to the Park website currently runs a couple times a week from April through early November. If you are planning your first trip to Channel Islands National Park, you may want to consider a trip to a trip to Anacapa Island or Santa Cruz Island, which are each only about a one hour’s boat ride.

For Yosemite National Park, the Happy Isles Nature Center in Yosemite Valley has been renamed the Happy Isles Art and Nature Center. The new name reflects that the Yosemite Conservancy, which operates the site, offers not just nature programs, but also art programs for kids and adults alike. The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees is located in the southern end of the park. The Mariposa Grove reopened to the public in 2018 after a three year restoration .

The beach in the Santa Rosa Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore, which has three new or updated cancellations this month. Photo Credit: NPS

Gulf Islands National Seashore has a total of ten cancellations, and all three on this month’s list are replacements for existing cancellations. On the Mississippi side of the park you can visit the William M. Colmer Visitor Center in the town of Ocean Springs, as well as the nearby Davis Bayou picnic area, which has its own cancellation. Ocean Springs is also the departure point for ferries to Ship Island where you can enjoy white sand beaches and explore historic Fort Massachusetts.

Gulf Islands National Seashore is unusual in that it has units in both Mississippi and Florida, but does not have any land in Alabama. Cancellations for Fort Barrancas and the Advanced Redoubt can be found at the Fort Barrancas Visitor Center on the grounds of the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Another cancellation for the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center can be found in the nearby town of Gulf Breeze, Florida, located just across Pensacola Bay from the city of Pensacola itself. Then there are cancellations for the each of the remaining beaches on the Florida barrier islands, including the Santa Rosa Area on Opal Beach, the Fort Pickens Area on Pensacola Beach, and the Rosamond Johnson Beach on Perdido Key.

The Kate Mullany National Historic Site in Troy, New York received its first cancellation this month. Photo Credit: Brian Bailey, 2011

Kate Mullany National Historic Site in Troy, New York, a suburb of Albany, is one of 23 Affiliated Areas of the U.S. National Park System. Affiliated Areas are recognized by Congress for being nationally-significant, but are not directly managed by the National Park Service. As such, Affiliated Areas don’t count towards the total of 400+ Units of the National Park System (currently 419 as of this writing), but do receive technical assistance from the National Park Service on managing their significant resources – as well as additional recognition.

Kate Mullany immigrated to the United States from Ireland at a young age with the rest of her family. After the death of her father, she took a job in a laundry to support the rest of her family, including her mother, who was in ill health. Conditions in the laundry were difficult, demanding 12+ hour days for only $3 a week in wages. In February of 1864, Kate Mullany successfully organized around 300 laundry workers across several businesses to form the first labor union in the United States primarily for female workers. Shortly after organizing, they launched a six day strike and were successful in winning a 25% pay increase. Her home in Troy, New York was designated a National Historic Site in 2005 and is also home to the American Labor Studies Center. The website for the Center has a great short biography of Kate Mullany that is well worth reading.

The National Fronter Trails Museum is a certified site for five National Historic Trails. Photo from 2016.

Independence, Missouri is famously the traditional starting point of the Oregon Trail, as well as the home of Harry S Truman National Historic Site. The National Frontier Trails Museum is a little gem of a museum that provides exhibits on the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, Santa Fe, and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails – the great trails of western settlement and exploration. The exhibits use excerpts from diary and journal entries to really bring the experience of the journey westward undertaken by these explorers and pioneers to life. The new cancellations for the Oregon and California National Historic Trails replace existing “generic” cancellations that listed all the states for each trail.

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail already had a place-specific stamp at the National Frontier Trails Musem. It adds five new cancellations, three of which are related to the recent eastward extension of the trail from St. Louis, Missouri back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The reconstructed 18th-Century Historic Fort Steuben in Steubenville, Ohio is open from May to October. The original fort was already abandoned by the time of the expedition, but Meriwether Lewis passed through the area on his journey eastward to assemble to the Corps of Discovery in St. Charles, Missouri. The Lewis and Clark Boathouse in St. Charles includes a replica keelboat and two replica pirogues, all of which are seaworthy and are occasionally used in reenactments.

The Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska includes a replica of the explorers’ keelboat, as well as a replica Plains Indian earth lodge. Missouri’s Trail of Tears State Park is located near the city of Cape Girardeau, about an hour’s drive north of the confluence between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Meriwether Lewis would have passed by this area on his preparatory journey, and both Lewis and Clark would have passed by here on their return home. Locust Grove in Louisville, Kentucky was the estate of William Clark’s sister and husband. Lewis and Clark stopped here in 1806 and celebrated the return of the expedition with Clark’s family.

Finally, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail adds four locations along the Natchez Trace Parkway this month, including the site where Meriwether Lewis died, most likely by suicide. Mount Locust Plantation, Ridgeland, and Tupelo are all locations of other Visitor Centers along the Parkway. The famous Tennessee Aquarium may seem like an unlikely location for a Trail of Tears passport cancellation, but the aquarium shares its location with the Chattanooga History Center – which does provide interpretation of Chattanooga’s role in the 19th Century removal of American Indians to present-day Oklahoma.

Final Shot: The Meriwether Lewis Site on the Natchez Trace Parkway, where Lewis met his untimely demise. Photo from 2008.
Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

June & July 2019 – Civil War Start-To-Finish, the Top of Texas, and More

New Stamps

Canaveral National Seashore |
Apollo Beach
Playalinda Beach

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park |
Iron Furnace 1819
Tri-State Marker

Cuyahoga Valley National Park | Cuyahoga River Water Trail

Gateway Arch National Park | Old Courthouse

Guadalupe Mountains National Park |
Guadalupe Peaks – The Top of Texas
Salt Basin Dunes
Williams Ranch

Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area |
Freeport, IL
Jonesboro, IL
Petersburg, IL
Pontiac, IL

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial | Living Historical Farm

Fort Sumter & Fort Moultrie National Historical Park |
Charleston Harbor, SC
Fort Moultrie
Liberty Square

Reconstruction Era National Historical Park |
Beaufort, SC
Port Royal, SC
St. Helena Island, SC

Cedar Breaks National Monument | Brianhead, Utah

Fort Hunt Park | Fairfax, VA
Fort Marcy Park | Fairfax, VA

Olympic National Park |
Hoodsport WIC
Port Angeles WIC

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail | Port Tobacco, MD

Coal National Heritage Area | Ashland Company Store

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail | Las Lagunas de Anza, CA

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network |
Roving Ranger
Annapolis, MD

Eldora Statehouse is found in the Apollo Beach Unit of Canaveral National Seashore. Photo from 2015.

Stories Behind the Stamps

Leading off the new stamps this month are two new cancellations for Canaveral National Seashore on Florida’s Space Coast. Its fitting that a stamp for “Apollo Beach” is being issued in the same year that we are celebrating the historic 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing. Canaveral National Seashore shares the Cape with Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, as well as the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As near as I can tell, though, Apollo Beach has no significance to the space program other than being named in its honor.

The Seashore itself is divided into three beaches on the barrier islands just to the north of the Kennedy Space Center. The new cancellation for Apollo Beach is possibly a replacement for the existing Passport cancellation reading “New Smyrna Beach, FL,” which is the closest town to Apollo Beach. Apollo Beach is the northern-most beach in the park, and is where the park’s main visitor center is, as well as the historic Eldora state house from an early 20th-century resort. Despite this fact, Apollo Beach actually gets significantly less visitation than Playalinda Beach, the southern-most beach in the park. Playalinda, which means “beautiful beach” in Spanish, is only accessible by driving through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and there may be temporary access restrictions during space launch activity at the nearby Kennedy Space Center.

Located between Apollo Beach and Playalinda Beach is Klondike Beach, but it is not accessible by car, and so does not have its own Passport cancellation, at least not yet.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park has several new cancellations this month. Public domain photo from 2004.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, located in far western Texas added three cancellations this month, giving it a total of 8 active cancellations. Seven of the eight stamps are available at the park’s Pine Springs Visitor Center on the south side of the park, including all three of the new stamps. One of the new stamps commemorates the fact that Guadalupe Peak at 8,751 feet is the highest point in Texas. The peak is accessible through a well-marked 4.2 mile one-way trail from the Visitor Center. The Salt Basin Dunes are stunning white gypsum sand dunes. To access the dunes requires a one hour drive around to the remote west side of the park, and then a one mile hike. The access road is impassable when wet, so this will not be a destination for every park visitor. The Williams Ranch is accessible only by special permit with a high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle or else a strenuous 10+ mile one way hike. Suffice to say, that will be a destination that few park visitors will make it to.

The overall stamp for the park reads “Salt Flat, Texas.” The park also has a cancellation commemorating the path of the Butterfield Overland Mail Route through the park. There is also a stamp for the nearby historic Frijole Ranch. The last stamp at the main visitor center is for McKittrick Canyon, which is located a 45 minute drive around to the east side of the park. The McKittrick Canyon area has three hiking trails, a self-guided nature trail, the geology-focused Permian Reef trail, and the main trail into McKittrick Canyon itself.

The eighth stamp for Guadalupe Mountains National Park is for Dog Canyon on the north side of the park. Dog Canyon is only accessible from New Mexico, and is a 2.5 hour drive from the Pine Springs Visitor Center.

Fog rolling in on Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, which has two new cancellations this month. Photo Credit 2005: Aaron/ConspiracyofHappiness – https://www.flickr.com/photos/97964364@N00/52117339/in/set-1130893/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=898801

Cumberland Gap National Historic Park has added two new stamps this month to encourage visitors to more thoroughly explore all the places this park has to offer, although all stamps are located at the main visitor center – the only stamping location for the park. The Cumberland Gap is the famous location where Daniel Boone led settlers west of the Appalachian on the Wilderness Road. The Tri-State Marker commemorates the joint border of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia inside the park. It is accessible by a 1.2 mile one-way hike from the Wilderness Road Parking Lot on the Pinnacle View Road. The Iron Furnace is an easy two-tenths of a mile hike from the Iron Furnace Parking Area located at 902 Pennlynn Avenue in the nearby town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee (although the trail is located entirely in Virginia.

These two new additions give Cumberland Gap NHP a total of seven active non-anniversary Passport cancellations. A stamp reading “Middlesboro, KY” is the overall stamp for the Park. There are also cancellations at the main visitor center available for the Wilderness Road Trail, the Pinnacle Overlook, the Gap Cave, and the Hensley Settlement. The Wilderness Road Trail and Pinnacle Overlook are easily accessible from the main park road. The Gap Cave is only accessible by a one mile hike, followed by a half mile inside the cave, and requires closed-toe shoes; children under 5 are not permitted. The historic Hensley Settlement is ordinarily only accessible by guided tour with advance reservations, but all tours have been cancelled for 2019 due to deteriorated road conditions.

Gateway Arch National Park from the steps of the Old Courthouse, which has a new cancellation this month. Photo from 2019.

Gateway Arch National Park gets a new stamp this month for the Old Courthouse. In addition to preserving the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, this National Park also preserves the Old Courthouse, which served as a site for both Federal and state courts. The Old Courthouse was where the Missouri Courts, including the Missouri Supreme Court, heard the the Dred Scott cases. Those cases ultimately resulted in the infamous 1857 US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford, which bizarrely and controversially held that “black people” were not, and indeed, never could be, citizens of the United States.

Gateway Arch National Park is not thought often thought about as a “Civil War” park. However, it does tell the story of how the Nation’s westward expansion made our tenuous compromise on the issue of slavery ever-more unstable. Ironically, Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, the author of the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, thought that he was writing a decision that would help settle the issue of slavery. In fact, the infamous decision further set the Nation on a course towards Civil War.

The Living History Farm at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial has a new cancellation this month. Photo Credit: National Park Service

The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in southern Indiana commemorates the time that America’s greatest President spent in Indiana, in between the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Kentucky and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois. As the designation of the site as a national memorial implies, little remains of the Lincoln family home from this time period, other than what has been revealed by archeologists. However, in addition to the memorial structure itself, the site includes a living history farm as a tribute to Lincoln’s formative years here.

The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area adds four new cancellations. Freeport, Illinois was the site of one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, and has a memorial to the debate that occurred there as well as a historic museum. Jonesboro, Illinois was the site of the third Lincoln-Douglas debate, and likewise has a memorial and offices for the Shawnee National Forest, where the cancellation will be located. Pontiac, Illinois was one of the many communities were Lincoln practiced law and today has a museum dedicated to Historic Route 66. The new cancellation for Petersburg, Illinois will apparently be located at the Riverbank Lodge resort.

The Cuyahoga River Water Trail is an ambitious proposal to encourage the use of the restored Cuyahoga River for boating and paddling of all kinds. The section of the Cuyahoga River flowing through Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of five designated segments along the trail.

Fort Moultrie gets a new cancellation this month as part of the park’s name change earlier this month. Photo from 2011.

Two national parks in South Carolina received new names thanks to the Dingell Act, and now have updated cancellations. Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park was famously the site of the opening salvos in the American Civil War. South Carolinian-occupied batteries on the mainland opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, which was occupied by Federal troops. The main visitor center for the park is located on Liberty Square in downtown Charleston, and is also the primary departure point for boat excursions to Fort Sumter on the island. Fort Moultrie is located just across the river from Liberty Square and played only a minor role in the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Today it shows the history of coastal defenses all the way from the antebellum years through to the Second World War. The Reconstruction Era National Historical Park includes three sites related to the integration of the freed slaves into society following emancipation. Located in and around Beaufort, South Carolina, a short drive from Charleston, the area provides an interesting set of “book ends” with the place where the Civil War began and some of the places where the post-war era began.

Several other stamps this month simply reflect changed mailing addresses for existing Passport locations. This includes the Fort Hunt Park and Fort Marcy Park along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in northern Virginia. This also includes the rock formations of Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah.

Closing out the list of stamps this month, Olympic National Park replaces two stamps this month for each of its Wilderness Information Center. The Lagunas de Anza are preserved wetlands on a private ranch south of Tucson, Arizona at the very beginning of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail route in the United States. The new stamp for the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail will be located at Thomas Stone National Historic Site in southern Maryland. The Ashland Company Store is a restored mining company store that is now part of an adventure resort supporting tours in the Coal National Heritage Area in southern West Virginia.

Final Shot: the interior of the dome at the Old Courthouse in Gateway Arch National Park. This photo and the cover photo both from 2019.
Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

May 2019 – Pathways to Victory

Tule Lake National Monument | Tulelake, CA

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site | Pearson Air Museum

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor | Port Byron Canal Heritage Park

Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area | Tutwiler Quilters

Nez Perce National Historical Park | Lapwai, ID

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail | Lapwai, ID

Saratoga National Historical Park |
                    Saratoga Monument
                    Schuyler Estate

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail | Rodgers Tavern – Perryville, MD

Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail | Rodgers Tavern- Perryville, MD

Tule Lake Internment Camp. The original uploader was Tedder in 2008 at English Wikipedia. [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

The highlight of this month’s new stamps is the new stamp for Tule Lake National Monument.  The Tule Lake Japanese Internment Camp had been a part of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument ever since President George W. Bush established that monument  in 2008, but it became a stand-alone unit of the National Park System with the passage of the Dingell Act earlier this year.  This month, it finally got its own Passport Cancellation. Tule Lake is now the third of the ten Japanese relocation centers established during World War II to become a Unit of the National Park System, the others being Mazanar National Historic Site in California and Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho (with an outlying unit in Washington State.)  Honouliuli National Historic Site in Hawaii was also used for Japanese Internment, but it was not an official relocation center, and its largest population consisted of Prisoners of War.

Tule Lake is notable because despite being the second relocation center to open, just two and a half weeks after Manzanar opened, Tule Lake went on to become:

  • the largest relocation center, with more than 18,000 internees at peak population on Christmas Day, 1944;
  • the last relocation center to peak in population, with the 9 other relocation centers peaking in population in 1942 or 1943;
  • the longest-open relocation center, at 1,394 days; and
  • the last relocation center to close, with the last resident not departing until March 20, 1946, some seven months after the war had ended.

The addition of Tule Lake National Monument as a stand-alone national park is yet another reminder that the National Park System includes not just the triumphs of American history, but also those moments when our country painfully failed to live up to our founding ideals and was responsible for grave injustice.

The Pearson Air Museum. Photo Credit: NPS.gov

The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site,  in Washington and Oregon, primarily interprets the story not of a  military installation, but instead of an important Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland.  The first fort was established in 1825 before being relocated in 1829.  The park features a reconstruction of the original fort, which burned to the ground in 1866.

This national park site is also responsible, however, for administering the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, which is something of a historic preservation district immediately adjacent to the Park.  Although not a unit of the National Park System, the Vancouver National Historic Reserve preserves the Vancouver Barracks.  The current structures in the Barracks mostly date to the early 20th Century, but the origins of the Barracks date back to U.S. Army’s Camp Vancouver.  Camp Vancouver was established in 1849 to provide order for settlers arriving on the Oregon Trail, and was intentionally placed adjacent to the Hudson Bay Company’s installation for that reason.  The Pearson Air Museum is actually part of the National Historic Reserve, not the National Historic Site.  The area that became Pearson Field actually dates back to aviation’s first decade when it was an aircraft demonstration area and manufacturing center. It was formally established as an air field in the early 1920’s.  The Pearson Air Museum commemorates the aviation history of this location, including how the first aircraft to circumnavigate the world landed here in 1924.

Inside restored Lock 52 at Port Byron Canal Heritage Park. Photo credit: Magicpiano [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], uploaded in 2017

The Port Byron Canal Heritage Park is located directly off the New York State Thruway in central New York.  The Park features an old canal lock from an 1854 enlargement, a restored 1894 tavern, and a new visitor center that was just built in 2016.  The visitor center is particularly notable for including a model of a canal lock that was displayed at the 1893 Columbian Exposition / World’s Fair in Chicago.  This new addition gives the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor 31 active cancellation locations, from Albany to Buffalo. 

The Tutwiler Quilters stamp is the 29th cancellation for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area in northeast Mississippi.  20 of those are generic stamps for the various counties or localities in the Heritage Area, so this is only the 9th destination-specific cancellation for the heritage area.  This stamp has an interesting story behind it.  In 1987, Sister Maureen Delaney, a Catholic nun, moved from California to Tutwiler, MIssissippi to join the Tutwiler Clinic.  The clinic had been founded four years earlier by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to serve one of the poorest counties in the Delta.  Soon after arriving, Sister Delaney met Mary Sue Robertson, who sewed quilt tops by hand in her home, and was part of the strong quilt-making tradition in the African-American community there.  Sister Delaney recognized that the high-quality quilts produced in this tradition had untapped value that could be used to empower the women in this community.  She brought together expert quilters and sewers, along with younger women who could learn from those with more experience, and carry on the quilt-making tradition.  Although Mary Sue Robertson would die just two years later, her experience with Sister Maureen Delaney led directly to the establishment of the Tutwiler Quilters, along with the Tutwiler Community Education Center. One of Mary Sue Robertson’s quilts still hangs in the Tutwiler Community Education Center, and the Tutwiler Quilters still sell a variety of quilts and other creations.  These 

The Officer’s Quarters at the Fort Lapwai Unit of Nez Perce National Historical Park. Photo Credit: NPS.gov

The Nez Perce National Historical Park interprets the culture and history of the Nez Perce Tribe of American Indians, and includes a total of 38 sites across four states – although only three of them current have separate cancellations.  The Nez Perce National Historic Trail* commemorates the route taken by a large band of Nez Perce Indians under the leadership of Chief Joseph in their attempt to flee to Canada in order to escape a U.S. Cavalry unit with orders to force them on to a reservation.   The trail begins in eastern Oregon and ends at the Bear Paw Battlefield unit of Nez Perce National Historical Park in north-central Montana.  Like Tule Lake National Monument, the Nez Perce National Historic Trail tell the story of a darker period in U.S. History of the government forcibly expelling pepople from their homes.

The main visitor center for both the park and the trail is located in Spalding, Idaho in the center of Idaho’s panhandle.  The town of Lapwai is the next town to the south of Spalding, and is the seat of government of the Nez Perce Tribe.  The town of Spalding is named after Henry Spalding, who was a missionary to the Nez Perce.  The addition of the new stamps reading “Lapwai, ID” adds a stamp with a name in the Nez Perce Tribe’s own language for the park and trail dedicated to their history and culture.  The Nez Perce National Historical Park includes numerous sites in the area relating to the cultural traditions and history of the Nez Perce Tribe.  The visitor center also includes a stamp for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, commemorating the important encounter the explorers had with the Nez Perce on their journey across the Rocky Mountains.

Saratoga National Historical Park commemorates the 1777 turning-point battle of the American Revolutionary War.  The battle defeated British General John Burgoyne’s planned three-pronged attack to re-take what is now New York State and divide the colonies.  The Saratoga Monument is located in the town of Victory, New York and is open seasonally for self-guided climbs to the top.   You can also find the restored home of American General Philip Schuyler in nearby Schuylerville, also open seasonally.

The Rodgers Tavern in Perryville, Maryland has two new cancellations this month. Photo Credit: Steve Beningo, 2018

The Rodgers Tavern is located in Perryville, at the top of the Chesapeake Bay, and just across the Susquehanna River from Havre de Grace, Maryland – which is a Passport cancellation site of its own.  The British burned Havre de Grace as well as the nearby Principio Iron Furnace during the War of 1812 in May 1813 – a year and a half before the famed Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore.  The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail links together many sites associated with British activity in the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, as well as marking the actual route of attack for British troops on their way to Baltimore for the fateful engagement there.

The Rodgers Tavern was originally built in the late 1600’s and was known as the “ferry house” for its association with a ferry across the Susquehanna River to Havre de Grace, Maryland.  George Washington was a frequent guest at the tavern on his travels between Virginia and Philadelphia  and points north.  This includes stopping there with the Comte de Rochambeau on his way to the final engagement of the Revolutionary War in Yorktown, Virginia – a journey commemorated by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail.

Final shot:

The restored 1894 Erie House Tavern at Port Byron Canal Heritage Park. Photo credit: Magicpiano, uploaded 2017 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Cover Photo: The Saratoga Monument in Victory, NY.  Photo from 2007.

Note: the original release of stamps for May 2019 included a cancellation for Nez Perce National Historic Trail | Lapwai, ID.  Prior to the publication of this post, however, the list was corrected to reflect that this was a stamp for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.  This post reflects the corrected list.   

Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

January Through April 2019 – Explorers Across the Centuries

National Aviation Heritage Area |

      • Armstrong Air & Space Museum
      • Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum
      • Wright B. Flyer

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail |

      • Canyon Ferry Reservoir, MT
      • Fort Benton, MT
      • Fort Peck, MT
      • Sioux City Lewis & Clark Center
      • Yellowstone Gateway Museum, MT

Vicksburg National Military Park | Shirley House

Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area | Ottawa, IL

California National Historic Trail | Lassen Volcanic NP, CA

California National Historic Trail | Fort Kearny SHP, NE

Oregon National Historic Trail | Fort Kearny SHP, NE

Pony Express National Historic Trail | Fort Kearny SHP, NE

The grave site of the Wright Brothers at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Photo credit: Wmpearl [CC0]

The government shutdown in early 2019 significantly reduced the normal creation of new Parks Passport cancellation stamps, with no new additions in both February and in April.   

The new additions are headlined by three official cancellations for the Aviation National Heritage Area, which is centered around the Dayton Aviation National Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio.   The Armstong Air and Space Museum is located about an hour north of Dayton in Wapakoneta – the home town of the first man to walk on the moon.  It contains memorabilia related to the life and achievements of Neil Armstong, as we all as other exhibits related to the history of the space program.  This new cancellation would be a great way to celebrate the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Armstrong becoming the first human to set foot on another world on July 20, 1969. 

The Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum in Dayton itself contains the graves of Orville and Wilbur Wright.  It also contains the grave of Charles Kettering, a notable inventor whose accomplishments include developing the first aerial missile.   The Wright B Flyer Museum in nearby Miamisburg, south of Dayton, displays and operates a replica of the Wright Brothers’ first production aircraft – the “Model B.”  

The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail has added fave stamps this month.  Four are new stamps in the state of Montana, and the fifth is just an update to one of its stamps in Iowa.  The Lewis & Clark Center in Sioux City, Iowa interprets the Corps of Discovery’s late summer encampment there.  The only death on the expedition occurred there when one Sargent Charles Floyd died, most likely  due to appendicitis.  As for the four new stamps in Montana, the Fort Peck Dam has an interpretive center for the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Montana, which contains a particularly undeveloped  stretch of the trail route along the Missouri River.  The town of Fort Benton in central Montana is the home of Montana’s state memorial to the Lewis & Clark expedition.  The Canyon Ferry Dam in the state capital of Helena also provides interpretation of the Corps of Discovery.   The Yellowstone Gateway Museum in the town of Livingston on Interstate 90 interprets the return trip of the explorers. 

The Shirley House at Vicksburg National Military Park back in 2008, prior to the restoration work that led to it getting a new Passport cancellation this month.

The Shirley House in Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi is the only surviving structure from the Civil War era left in the park.  This cancellation joins the existing cancellations for the main park visitor center, as well as for the museum preserving the Civil War-era ironclad, the U.S.S. Cairo. 

The new cancellation for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area is in the local visitor center for the town of Ottawa.   Just down the road is the Illinois Waterways Visitor Center for Starved Rock State Park, which has a cancellation reading “Ottawa, IL” for the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area.  Starved Rock State Park is frequently mentioned by #ParkChat on Twitter as one of the best state parks in the country. 

Fort Kearny in central Nebraska is preserved as a Nebraska State Park. This U.S. Army outpost was a waystation first on the Oregon Trail, then the California Trail,  and then finally for the Pony Express riders.  Somewhat confusingly, Fort Kearny State Historical Park is located near the town of Kearney, Nebraska.  The Fort was named after an officer in the U.S. Army by the name of Stephen Watts Kearny, and the town was named after the fort.  Apparently at some point in the 19th Century, a well-meaning post office worker misspelled the name of the town as “Kearney” and the misspelled name stuck. 

The California Trail also gets a new cancellation this month commemorating one of the alternate routings west, this one going through present-day Lassen Volcanic National Park

Final Shot: Fort Kearny State Historical Park in Nebraska. Photo Credit: Hanyou23 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Cover Photo Credit of the Armstrong Museum: Kremerbi [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

 

Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

November & December 2018 – Big News for Indiana Dunes & More!

C&O Canal National Historical Park | Lockhouse #21 – Swains

The Lockkeeper’s House | Washington, DC

Ice Age National Scenic Trail | Camp Douglas, WI

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore |

  • West Beach
  • Bailly Homestead
  • Chellberg Farm
  • Mount Baldy
  • Pin Hook Bog

Camp Nelson National Monument | Nicholasville, KY

Isle Royale National Park | USNPS Ranger III

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail | Prairie Trails Museum, IA

Underground Railroad Freedom Network | Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters NHS

The Bailly Homestead is one of the new passport locations for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore – now Indiana Dunes National Park. Photo courtesy Bruce Johnson, 2008

As I get caught back up with blogging, the highlights of this month’s new stamps are the five new additions for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  These new stamps were created just a few weeks before this park was redesignated as Indiana Dunes National Park, making them strong candidates to quickly become collector’s items, depending on whether or not the park decided to continue to make them available as a “secret stash” under the counter or by some other arrangement for devoted passport cancellation collectors.

Mount Baldy is a sand dune located at the far eastern end of the Park.  Its notable because the “bald” top provides clear views from which you can see as far away as Chicago.  You can only climb to the top on a Ranger-guided hike, but the area also has a swimmable beach.  West Beach is the westernmost swimmable beach in the park, although the park does include additional protected inland areas even further to the west, including an Environmental Education Center.

The Pinhook Bog is an outlying unit of the park, located right off Interstate 80, but is only accessible by Ranger-guided tours.  The Bailly Homestead and the Chellburg Farm, by contrast, are located relatively close to the main visitor center in the town of Porter, Indiana.  The Bailly Homestead dates from 1822 and was one of the earliest settlements in Indiana.  The Chellburg Farm, meanwhile, was established by Swedish immigrants in the 1870s.

These new stamps give Indiana Dunes a total of six passport cancellations.   If you’re interested in Indiana Dunes National Park, you might also enjoy this episode of the National Parks Podcast, which discusses the architectural legacy of some of the houses located just outside the park boundaries.

Another highlight is the first stamp for Camp Nelson National Monument.  Camp Nelson represents President Trump’s first use of the Antiquities Act to establish a new national park via a Presidential Proclamation.  During the Civil War, the Union supply depot at Camp Nelson became a key location for recruiting and training African Americans to join the Union Army.

The Lockkeeper’s House in Washington, DC., is a relic of the Washington City Canal, which last ran past here more than 100 years ago. Photo from 2019.

The Lockkeeper’s House is located at the corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest in Washington, DC on the edge of Constitution Gardens.  That location is diagonally across Constitution Avenue from the southwest corner of The Ellipse located behind the White House.  This house was used by a lockkeeper on the Washington City Canal from 1835 to 1855.  The canal was later filled in during the 1870s.  The restored lockhouse was finally reopened on October 23, 2018.

The Lockhouse at C&O Canal National Historical Park Lock #21 is better known as Swain’s Lock. The Swain family was the last canal family living in a lockhouse – the last family member didn’t move out until 2006!   The Canal Trust, the non-profit partner of the C&O Canal National Historical Park has been working on efforts to rennovate the lockhouse since 2015.  Once completed, the lockhouse will be the seventh location in the innovative Canal Quarters Program.  The Canal Quarters Program lets visitors spend the night in a restored canal lockhouse, which keeps these otherwise abandoned structures in use and also raises much-needed funds for their upkeep.  Each of the seven lockhouses also has their own passport cancellation as well.   In addition, the lockhouse is large enough that once-completed it will also provide classroom space for educational programs in the park.  Swain’s Lock is having an open house on Saturday afternoon, June 29, 2019 – if you are in the Washington area, that will be a great opportunity to check it out and to obtain what will surely be a Passport cancellation that is rarely collected on-site.

Mill Bluff State Park in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin is part of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, and has apparently also received a new cancellation for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which passes to the east of here. Photo from 2012.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is located entirely in Wisconsin, and takes long-distance hikers along landscapes that were right on the edge of what is now known as the Wisconsin glaciation.   The new stamp is a little surprising, however, as the actual route of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail actually passes several miles to the east of Mill Bluff State Park near Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.  Mill Bluff State Park is a participant in the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve Affiliated Area of the National Park Service, which includes nine Wisconsin State Parks, and is one of seven sites that already has a Cancellation for the Reserve.  Of those seven, it was the only one that did not also have a cancellation for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, so perhaps that explains why a new cancellation was added for this site, despite not actually being on the Trail route.

The Ranger III is a National Park Service vessel that takes passengers to Isle Royale National Park.  The vessel is based in the town of Houghton, Michigan in the “upper peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula” and located near Keweenaw National Historical Park.  The new stamp will mean that visitors traveling to Isle Royale National Park from Houghton, Michigan will be able to get a second stamp before the even arrive on the island thanks to the NPS Visitor Center in Houghton and this one on board the boat.

The Prairie Trails Museum is located in Corydon, Iowa, in the south-central part of the state.  This month it becomes one of around a dozen Passport locations for the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Finally, there is a new stamp for the Underground Railroad Freedom Network at the Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge, Massachusetts.   This stamp finally replaces the older stamp with this site’s old designation as Longfellow National Historic Site on it – despite the fact that “Washington’s Headquarters” was added to the site name back in December 2010.  The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a noted anti-slavery advocate in his time, and voiciferous opponent of the Fugitive Slave Act.  Although I couldn’t find any evidence that Longfellow sheltered fugitive slaves at his home, which is now a National Historic Site, there is good evidence of him providing financial support to others who sheltered fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad.

Final Shot: The Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarter’s National Historic Site has a new Passport cancellation for the Underground Railroad Freedom Network this month. Photo from 2015.
Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

October 2018 – Triumph & Tragedy

There were just three new cancellations this month:

Flight 93 National Memorial | Tower of Voices

National Capital Parks: Titanic Memorial | Washington, DC

Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site: George Gordon Meade Memorial | Washington, DC

All three of this month’s cancellations relate to memorials and national memorials – a favorite topic of Parkasaurus.

A crane installs chimes on the Tower of Voices at Flight 93 National Memorial. Photo credit: NPS.gov

Normally, the National Park Service recommends waiting several years before designating a National Memorial for contemporary events.  However, that waiting period was understandably waived in the case of commemorating the dramatic events surround United Flight 93 of September 11, 2001.  The Flight 93 National Memorial was designated around the site where the passengers of Flight 93 took matters into their own hands, and brought down their hi-jacked before it could be used as a weapon – likely against the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.  The Tower of Voices is the final piece of the memorial.   The 93-foot tall tower containing 40 wind chimes is a moving tribute to the 40 passengers who gave their lives on Flight 93.

If you haven’t been to Flight 93 National Memorial, or if you haven’t been recently, the completion of the Tower of Voices certainly makes for a compelling reason to make an American pilgrimage to the site.  Parkasaurus hasn’t been since 2011, when our family visited with our then-infant first child around the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  We made sure to get our Passport cancellation with the iconic date forever associated with the site on it:

That cancellation remains one of the favorites in my collection.  For all of us who lived through that day and carry the memories of those events, that date carries a special significance.

The site back then was still largely undeveloped – but there were still many Americans visiting from all different backgrounds and walks of life.   At the time, the National Park Service only had a temporary visitor center – but even then, the stories of the participants in the events of Flight 93 that the National Park Service had collected were still incredibly moving.  That will surely only moreso be the case now that the site has largely finished.

With the recent burning of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in France (admittedly several months after I initially started writing, but alas, not completing, this post) the dinner table conversation in the Parkasaurus family with our now-eight-year-old and his younger siblings turned to the concept of “remember where you were when” events.  Surprisingly, it was actually our eight year old who brought that topic up.  That naturally led to Mrs. Parkasaurus and I sharing our experiences of 9/11 with our children for the first time. Both of us were living in the Washington, DC, area at the time, albeit without yet knowing of each other.  I’m not sure just yet when we will be ready to share the emotional impact of visiting this site with our children, but it will certainly be an impactful opportunity to talk with our children about bravery, and what to do when ordinary people are confronted with extraordinary circumstances in the history of their country.

The General George Gordon Meade Memorial is one of the most striking statues in Washington, DC. Photo from 2015.The next memorial this month concerns history-changing events that are now longer in living memory.  Union Civil War General George Gordon Meade is best known for his successful leadership at the Battle of Gettysburg some 100 miles to the east and some 140 years earlier.  Most historians recognize the three-day Battle of Gettysburg as the turning point of the Civil War in favor of an ultimate Union Victory.  The striking memorial, located in Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site in Washington, DC, was dedicated in 1927.  In 2013, the Meade Memorial was featured on the annual stickers issued by Eastern National each year for the Passport Program.  The Meade Memorial was the sticker that year for the National Capital Region, and it marked the 150th Anniversary that year of the Battle of Gettysburg.  For the last 5 years, the Meade Memorial has been the only site featured on an annual sticker by Eastern National, but without its own passport cancellation – a situation that’s now been rectified with this month’s addition.  The Meade Memorial is often over-looked in the shadow of the grand memorials of Washington, DC, just as Meade himself is often overlooked on the list of the now larger-than-life characters that usually dominate historical narratives of the Civil War, like Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.  Despite the relative unfamiliarity of George Gordon Meade’s name in popular history, both his role in changing the course of the Civil War and also the unique design of this memorial with the gold wreath and  stone carving make it worth checking out on your next journey along Pennsylvania Avenue through the Nation’s Capital.

The landscape of the Titanic Memorial in Washington, DC. Photo from 2010

Finally, the Titanic Memorial has long been one of my favorite off-the-beaten path locations in Washington, DC.   Located at the end of P Street Southwest in Washington, few tourists venture to visit the site, located some 1.2 miles south of the National Mall – despite the national sensation created by the famed James Cameron movie.  In addition to its location, however, it perhaps is also often overlooked because of the story behind the memorial itself.   Although the memorial was not erected until 1931, the impetus for the memorial began in the years immediately after the 1912 sinking.   The striking inscription on the memorial says that it was erected by “the women of America” and is dedicated not to the victims of the sinking in general, but rather, is dedicated specifically to “To the brave men who perished in the wreck of the Titanic – April 15 1912. They gave their lives that women and children might be saved.”

The building of this memorial was largely driven by anti-suffragettes, women who were actually opposed to the work of Alice Paul, which is now commemorated at Belmont-Paul National Monument.   The story is admittedly a bit more complicated than that, as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote was ratified in 1920, and the Titanic Memorial was not completed until eleven years later.

Nevertheless, the inscription that remains on the memorial’ still bears testament to that era.  The thinking behind these anti-suffragettes was that if women were to be granted full legal equality with men that there might be unintended consequences of women losing some of the privileges that they did enjoy in early 20th Century society – such as priority access to lifeboats.   Nowadays, it seems almost unthinkable that there might have been women who opposed passage of the 19th Amendment granting them the right to vote in exchange for such “privileges,” but our past is a complicated past.   Nevertheless, the Titanic Memorial in Washington, DC is perhaps the finest example of how a memorial may be intended to commemorate a particularly person or historical event, but in fact, may end up telling us just as much about the people who created the memorial as the persons or events commemorated by the memorial itself.  This makes the Titanic Memorial an outstanding place to visit, nut just to get away from the crowds and hustle and bustle of the National Mall, but also to reflect on how the memorials we create today will outlast us in future generations.

Final Shot: The memorial bell at Flight 93 National Memorial from a time when the Memorial was still largely undeveloped. Photo from 2010.
Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

The New National Park No One Is Talking About & More!

 

There are lots more other changes to the National Park System included in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which has now been officially signed into law.

Among the many remaining changes that jump out to me is that Death Valley National Park is expanded by 35,292 acres, further expanding the largest national park in the contiguous 48 states.  Although this is a small addition to Death Valley’s existing 3.4 million acres, the expansion is larger than seven other national parks.  If this were a stand-alone addition to the National Park System, we might well be celebrating the addition of a 62nd national park.  In fact,  the additional lands are about the size of Bryce Canyon National Park’s 35, 835 acres.  So in some ways, this addition to Death Valley National Park is the new national park that no one is talking about.  If land of this size had been set aside as a new national park with a new name, it would certainly be headline news.  As it is, its a bit of a footnote, but is still worth celebrating.

A bit over 6,000 acres of this addition come from adding an area known as “the Crater” to the Park.  If you look closely at a map of Death Valley National Park, The Crater appears as a “doughnut hole” of Bureau of Land Management Land in the northeast corner of the Park.  That hole will now be filled in. The remaining 29,000 acres come from expanding the Park southwards to include the land between the current boundaries and the Fort Irwin National Training Center operated by the U.S. military.

Fort Moultrie, outside of Charleston South Carolina, tells a nearly complete history of US harbor defenses, and is now formally included in the newly-renamed Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park. Photo from 2011.

Although the expansion of Death Valley is far and away the largest expansion of the National Park System under the Dingell Act, there are a number of other changes to existing units that should not be overlooked:

  • Acadia National Park benefits by Congress confirming the 2015 addition of land on the Schoodic Peninsula to the Park;
  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado, which preserves absolutely spectacular 35 million year old fossils, gets a small expansion from 6,000 acres to 6,300 acres
  • Fort Frederica National Monument in Georgia, where the British solidified their hold on their southern colonies, is expanded by 22%, with the addition of 55 additional acres;
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site in Kansas, which preserves a Fort that played an important role in the “Bleeding Kansas” conflicts of the antebellum years before the Civil War gets a small boundary expansion;
  • Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park not only gets a new name, but gets formal recognition of the inclusion of Fort Moultrie and the Charleston Lifesaving Station within the boundaries of the park after 60 years of being unofficially included in the park;
  • Harry S Truman National Historic Site in Independence, Missouri gets authorized to acquire additional land in Independence for a new or expanded visitor center;
  • Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York gets expanded by approximately 10% as 89 additional acres are added along the scenic Hudson River;
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Georgia, the site of an important battle on General Sherman’s “March to the Sea” during the Civil War, gets a small addition of 8 acres around the  Wallis House and Hairston Hill;
  • Joshua Tree National Park  gets a modest expansion of 4,518 acres, plus the authority to establish a new visitor center in the unincorporated town of Joshua Tree, California;
  • Mojave National Preserve in California gets a small expansion of 25 additional acres;
  • A small sub-unit of National Capital Parks in Washington, DC containing a statue of Irish independence hero Robert Emmert gets redesignated as Robert Emmert Park;
  • Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Georgia, in addition to getting a new name, is tripled in size from its present 702 acres to some 2,100 acres;
  • Reconstruction Era National Historical Park gets a new name, and also the authority to acquire additional properties beyond the original monument designation;
  • Shiloh National Military Park, site of the overall bloodiest battle in the Civil War, is expanded by adding three new areas:
    • the Davis Bridge Battlefield in Tennessee, which is currently already a Parks Passport cancellation location by virtue of being part of a shared National Historic Landmark designation with the national military park itself,
    • additional acres around the Fallen Timbers Battlefield site in Tennessee, and
    • the Russel House Battlefield site on the Tennessee-Mississippi border;
  • Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota benefits by allowing the Department of the Interior to transfer 49 acres within the current Park boundaries that are currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management to National Park Service management, and also authorizes the possibility of up to several dozen additional acres to be donated to the National Park Service by the State of Minnesota;

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site in Illinois, where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark sought recruits for the Corps of Discovery in November 1803 will now benefit from the recognition of the eastward extension of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Photo from 2009.

Beyond the additions to the National Park System, the Dingell Act will also make a major change to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, extending it from its current starting point near St. Louis, Missouri eastward to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  In 2004, during the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, Congress directed the National Park Service to conduct a “Special Resource Study” on extending the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail eastward to include routes related to activities occurring both before and after the main 1804-1806 expedition already commemorated by the existing Trail.  The National Park Service looked at some 25 different route segments as part of its study, eventually determining that only the routes from Pittsburgh to St. Louis along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers met the criteria for historical significance to be added to the National Historic Trails System.

Interestingly, in researching this post, I discovered that the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail had already certified 12 of these “Eastern Legacy” sites as Trail locations, despite not being located along the then-authorized trail route.  The extension of the Lewis & Clark Trail to Pittsburgh will incorporate about half of these sites, but five certified sites will remain outside of the new, extended National Historic Trail:

  • Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, Monticello, in Virginia (currently a Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area cancellation location) where Meriwether Lewis met with Thomas Jefferson to plan the Corps of Discovery expedition;
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia where Lewis procured armaments for the expedition and tested plans for a collapsable boat (which ultimately failed);
  • the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Lewis received training in the natural sciences from Benjamin Rush, and other Society Members, in preparation for the expedition;
  • the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Meriwether Lewis received Medical Training from Benjamin Rush and others; and finally,
  • the Lewis and Clark Herbarium at the Academy of Natural Resources where most of the plant specimens collected by the Corps of Discovery continue to be housed today.

Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield in Tennessee Is the Newest Affiliated Area of the National Park System. Photo from 2018, courtesy Brian Bailey.

The Dingell Act will also be adding one new Affiliated Area to the National Park System.  The Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield in Tennessee, which already has a passport cancellation and an Eastern National-operated bookstore gets elevated to recognition as an Affiliated Area of the National Park System.  The 368 acre battlefield is managed by the non-profit American Battlefield Trust, and preserves the site of a Civil War engagement that took place on New Year’s Eve, approximately three and a half months prior to the Battle of Shiloh.

The President James K. Polk Home in Columbia, Tennessee is one of several areas that will now be studied for potential inclusion in the National Park System. Photo from 2010 by Polk Association Photographer. [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]
Finally, the Dingell Act authorizes a number of special resource studies for future additions to the National Park System.  A special resource study is where the National Park Service formally studies and gathers public input on the national significance, suitability, and feasibility of a proposed addition to the National Park System.  As mentioned earlier, it can be a long time between the authorization of a special resource study and a change to the National Park System – 15 years in the case of the eastward extension of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.  Here are the studies authorized by the Dingell Act:

  • the President James K. Polk Home in Columbia, Tennessee, which would be the first National Park System Unit other than Gateway Arch National Park interpreting the Presidency of James K. Polk;
  • the Thurgood Marshall School in Baltimore, Maryland, better-known as Public School 103, which the first African-American Supreme Court Justice attended as a youth;
  • President Street Station, which played a role in the Underground railroad,  Baltimore’s Civil War riots, the growth of the railroad industry, and early 20th century immigration (and which also currently has an Eastern National Bookstore and its own Parks Passport cancellation already);
  • Camp Amache Internment Camp in Granada, Colorado, which would be the fourth Japanese internment camp added to the National Park System;
  • the  George W. Bush childhood home in Midland Texas;
  • the Ocmulgee River Corridor in Macon, Georgia; and
  • the route of the explorer Zebulon Montgomery Pike (of Pike’s Peak fame) for consideration as a national historic trail.

These special resource studies will join a slew of studies already underway by the National Park Service, including a study of Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York that was authorized by a piece of stand-alone legislation in October 2018.

The authorizations of  special resource studies for the President Street Station and for Thurgood Marshall’s Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland are particularly notable because Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland first introduced legislation requesting this study in October of 2011.  It took more than 7 years to get the legislation enacted, just for a study!   The proposal for the study of a Pike National Historic Trail goes all the way back to 2010!  That really illustrates how much effort goes into establishing just one new unit of the National Park System – even a small one!  Moreover, many of these special resource studies will of course conclude that the proposed addition is either not suitable, not feasible, or even not nationally significant and recommend against inclusion in the National Park System.  Although Congress can always make its own decision, an unfavorable recommendation in the special resource study often effectively ends efforts to designate a particular area a national park.

This article is Part III of a three-part series on changes to the National Park System in early 2019.  Check out Part I and Part II.

Update: This post was updated after publication to make it clearer that the “new” national park will still be known as Death Valley National Park. 

Final Shot: A new dawn rising on Death Valley National Park. Photo from 2009.

 Share this Parkasaurus post: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Follow Parkasaurus: Facebooktwitter

Visiting All 419 National Parks