Grand Canyon National Park | Desert View Watchtower
Lake Mead National Recreation Area |
Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor | New York State
The Desert View Watchtower is a landmark on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. It was originally built in the 1930’s, and was designed by female architect Mary Colter. In recent years, the Watchtower had been used as a gift shop by a Park concessionaire, up until the National Park Service taking back management of the building in 2015. In 2016, the Watchtower was reopened after being restored to visitor uses closer to Mary Colter’s original vision of the space. Additionally, the National Park Service has partnered with area American Indian Tribes to include artwork by tribal artists on the site. The stamp this month is a replacement for an existing stamp that had either worn out, or its date had expired.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is something of a sister park for Grand Canyon, encompassing the lands surrounding the Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona. The park stretches from the point on the Colorado River where Grand Canyon National Park ends the downstream through Lake Mead above the Hoover Dam and Lake Mohave above the the Davis Dam, north of Bullhead City in Arizona.
Prior to this month, there were 9 stamps available for Lake Mead NRA. One is for the main visitor center, located just outside of Boulder City, Nevada. The other eight were for various ranger stations and entrance stations located around the park’s 1.5 million acres. The Boulder Beach and Colville Bay Ranger Stations are both located on the north shore of Lake Mead, relatively near the most-visited section of the park near Boulder City and Las Vegas. With these additions, Lake Mead NRA now has 11 available cancellations. The only remaining Ranger Stations in Lake Mead NRA without their own cancellations are the entrance station at the junction of Lakeshore Road, Northshore Road, and the Lake Mead Parkway and also the remote Meadview Ranger Station in the far eastern portion of the park on the Arizona side of Lake Mead. Perhaps these will be sites for future cancellations?
Finally, the new stamp for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, with the generic text “New York State” on the bottom, will be located at the Canalway Headquarters at Peebles Island State Park in Waterford, New York where it will presumably be a replacement for an existing stamp. In an e-mail, the National Park Service staff advises stampers to call ahead before attempting to collect this stamp, as occasionally the staff at the office may be called away to various projects or events on the Canalway.
With this month’s new additions there are now 2,184 active Passport Cancellations, or 2,072 if you exclude the various anniversary and special event cancellations available.
The Pry House served as General McClellan’s headquarters at Antietam National Battlefield. Although it is within the Park boundaries, it is operated in partnership with the National Park Service as an outpost of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and has several exhibits on how medical needs were handled during the battle. This site previously had an official stamp from 2006 to 2011 – the new stamp replaces an unofficial stamp that the site had been using for the last five years.
There are two new additions in the Pacific Northwest this month. The remote village of Bettles in northern Alaska is most-famously a gateway community for Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve. A second stamp is added this month at the joint National Park Service – US Fish and Wildlife Service Ranger Station in the village for adventurers taking a longer flight to the remote rivers located in Noatak National Preserve. In testament to the size of Alaska, Bettles is itself some 600 miles (a 14.5 hour drive according to Google Maps) from Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Even so, it is approximately another 150 miles as the bush plane flies to get to Noatak National Preserve from Bettles, a remote national park with no on-site visitor facilities whatsoever.
In Seattle, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park has added a stamp for the inter-agency information station at the REI Flagship Store in Seattle, which provides information about parks and other public lands throughout western Washington.
Gulf Islands National Seashore has added two stamps for the Florida section of the park. The Okaloosa Area is the easternmost section of the National Seashore, located just east of the town of Fort Walton Beach, and preserves the beaches on the barrier island. The Advanced Redoubt is located in the Fort Barrancas Unit of the Park, on the grounds of the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The Advanced Redoubt and Fort Barrancas were both built in the mid-19th Century to protect the Pensacola Navy Yard.
San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico is comprised of two old Spanish fortifications, the Castillo San Marcos and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro. The latter received a new stamp this month, replacing an older stamp that referred to the location by its nickname, “El Morro.” There is also a brand new stamp this month for the San Antonio Guardhouse, which is located just outside the fortifications of El Morro. This gives the site three total Passport locations.
The other additions this month appear to primarily have local connections or secondary interest to the life of Abraham Lincoln. The two most notable are the additions for Mahomet, Illinois and Vandalia, Illinois. The Museum of the Grand Prairie is operated by Champaign County in Mahomet. Lincoln visited the area in and around Mahomet during his time as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit and the museum includes exhibits on this stage of Lincoln’s life. The Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site preserves the old state capitol in Vandalia, Illinois where Lincoln worked as a state legislator from his election in 1834 up until the capitol being moved in 1839. The stamps for Carthage, Illinois; Clinton, Illinois; and Quincy, Illinois are each at local historical society museums. The stamp for Homer, Illinois is at the local nature center.
Together with the existing stamps for this heritage area, there are now 29 stamps for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area located across central Illinois. Prior to 2015 there were just 17 on-location* stamps in the entire state of Illinois, including a single stamp for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, one for the Chicago Portage National Historic Site Affiliated Area, two for the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, 10 for the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, and 3 for the Lincoln Home National Historic Site (including one for the Heritage Area and one for the Underground Railroad Freedom Network, both located at the main visitor center on the site). 2015 brought the addition for three more stamps for the brand-new Pullman National Monument in Chicago. Now the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area has single-handedly more the doubled the statewide cancellation total for the state of Illinois, with now at least 50 stamps being available in that state. That will be enough to keep Passport enthusiasts from the Midwest busy for quite a while, and is continued testament to how National Heritage Areas have really fueled the growth of the Passport Program in recent years.
* – This count of 17 stamps does not include stamps for the Amtrak Trails and Rails Partnership program, a couple of which pass through the state of Illinois.
There were only two new stamps in February 2017, so as I get caught up, I’m going to combine them with the much more extensive list for March 2017.
Antietam National Battlefield:
Antietam National Cemetery | 150th Anniversary 1867-2007
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail | VA, TN, NC, SC
Katmai National Park & Preserve | Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Big Cypress National Preserve | Swamp Welcome Center
Sequoia National Park |
Foothills Visitor Center
Lodgepole Visitor Center
Giant Forest Museum
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park | Church Creek, MD
Civil War Defense of Washington | Fort Stevens
Rock Creek Park:
Rock Creek Nature Center & Planetarium | Washington, DC
MotorCities National Heritage Area | Greenfield Village
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail |
Great Falls, MT
The one-day battle of Antietam is famously the single-deadliest day in US history. Total dead, wounded, and missing among both the Union and Confederate forces was nearly 23,000. Of those, some 3,600 died on the day of the battle, and another 4,000 died of their wounds shortly thereafter or else were confirmed as dead after initially being listed as missing. These casualties were out of a total US population of 31.4 million in the 1860 Census just before the Civil War. By comparison, the current US population of 318 million is some ten times larger, and average daily deaths in the United States are approximately 6,700.
In the immediate aftermath of the battle, many of the casualties were buried in mass graves, or in inadequately shallow graves. President Andrew Johnson visited Antietam for the dedication of the cemetery on the 5th anniversary of the battle on September 17, 1867. The cemetery commemorates its 150th Anniversary this year.
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail marks the journey of some several hundred “overmountain men” to confront a force of British-commanded loyalist militia in South Carolina in 1780. The men gathered at Abingdon, Virginia on September 23, 1780, and a day later at Sycamore Shoals, Tennessee before marching to confront the British-loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7th, 1780. This new stamp replaces an existing Overmountain Victory Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield. The Battle of Cowpens was a coda to the Overmountain Campaign, being fought three months later on January 17, 1781. In this battle, a force of American regular soldiers and militia defeated a force of largely British regulars. Although a few of the overmountain men also participated in this battle, many had returned home after the Battle of Kings Mountain, and one contingent of them arrived a day after the decisive victory for the Americans.
Although Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska is world-famous for viewing grizzly bears catching salmon near the waterfalls at Brooks Camp, the park was actually originally established in 1918 to protect the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes was actually created only 6 years earlier during the simultaneous volcanic eruptions of the Mt. Katmai and Novarupta volcanoes. When explorer Robert Griggs from the National Geographic Society reached the valley in 1916, it was still filled with fumaroles, or openings, in the volcanic ash releasing steam. Although most of the fumaroles have stopped steaming, the volcanic landscape remains a popular attraction within the park; bus tours are offered regularly from Brooks Camp.
The new stamp for Big Cypress National Preserve reflects the rebranding of the Ochopee Welcome Center, near the town of the same name on the west side of the park, to the Swamp Welcome Center. Likewise, Sequoia National Park is simply replacing three of its existing stamps from being location-based to structure based. Thus, the existing stamp for “Three Rivers, CA” is being replaced by one for the “Foothills Visitor Center.” At Parkasaurus, we always prefer the location-based stamps to the structure-based stamps, so this is a disappointing move.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park is a relatively new addition to the National Park System, and is celebrating the grand opening of its new visitor center in partnership with the Maryland State Park Service. The new facility is in the hamlet of Church Creek.
The Civil War Defenses of Washington is a partnership program that connects related sites around the greater Washington, DC area that are variously under the jurisdiction of the superintendents of National Capital Parks, Rock Creek Park, or the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Fort Stevens Park is located just a half mile from Rock Creek Park in the northern portions of the District of Columbia, and so is managed by the Superintendent of Rock Creek Park. Fort Stevens is notable because during Confederate General Jubal Early’s 1864 raid on Washington, it became the only time in history than an American President came under enemy fire while in his role as Commander-in-Chief. This stamp will be kept at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, along with the replacement stamp for the Nature Center, which includes the words “and Planetarium” for the first time.
The Motorcities National Heritage Area is centered around the history of the automobile industry in southeast Michigan. Greenfield Village is a living history attraction that is part of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Finally, there are two replacement stamps for locations along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail in Montana. The Great Falls of the Missouri River were a major obstacle for Lewis & Clark and their Corps of Discovery. Today, dams and development projects along the Missouri River have deprived the namesake of the town of Great Falls, Montana much of its grandeur, but there is still a good Lewis & Clark interpretive center in town. Meanwhile, Traveler’s Rest State Park near Lolo, Montana preserves the only known archeological remains of an actual encampment by the Corps of Discovery. Lewis and Clark encamped here in September 1805 before embarking on the difficult crossing of the Lolo Pass. They then camped here a second time in June 1806, before splitting into two separate exploration parties for the return route home. The two parties would reunite some two and a half months later in North Dakota to take advantage of the swift currents of the Missouri River for the return trip back to civilization.
With these new additions, Parkasaurus calculates that there are now 2,148 active stamp cancellations to collect. There are 2,039 of these if you exclude special stamps for anniversaries and special events.
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site | 10th Anniversary 2007-2017
First State National Historical Park |
New Castle Court House
The Green – New Castle
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site | South Dakota
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park | Camp Sherman
Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area |
Mt. Pulaski, IL
Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area |
Museum of the Mississippi Delta
Robert Johnson Gravesite
California National Historic Trail | Hollenberg Pony Express Station SHS
Oregon National Historic Trail | Hollenberg Pony Express Station SHS
Pony Express National Historic Trail | Hollenberg Pony Express Station SHS
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site may only be ten years old in 2017, but this is already their second anniversary stamp. In 2014, they had a stamp commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the massacre of a camp of Cheyenne Indians by Colorado soldiers in 1864. This park immediately retired that 150th Anniversary stamp as soon as the calendar turned to 2015, so if you want to collect this anniversary cancellation, you’ll probably need to trek out to eastern Colorado before the year is out.
For First State National Historical Park, the New Castle Courthouse stamp is simply a replacement for the existing stamp reading “New Castle, DE” on the bottom. The New Castle Courthouse is where Delaware seceded from Great Britain in 1775, and is also the baseline for Delaware’s curved border with Pennsylvania, which is 12 miles from the courthouse. The other stamp is for the New Castle Green and will be located at the New Castle Historical Society’s Visitor Center in The Arsenal. A great summary of the history of New Castle Green can be found in this blog post from the official Delaware State Government blog. This new addition for New Castle Green gives First State NHP a total of 8 active cancellations.
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in south-central Ohio was officially established to interpret the archeological remains of a 2,000-year-old Indian civilization that archeologists refer to as “the Hopewell Culture,” since they did not leave behind a written language recording their own name for themselves. However, 100 years ago, part of the land that is now the national park was included in the then newly-designated Camp Sherman to gather and train US troops for the war effort. This new cancellation is timely, as it coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the U.S. entering the first World War in 1917, and with Hopewell Culture National Historical Park stepping up its interpretation of the small role it played in the First World War.
The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, which is run by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, covers some 40 counties in central Illinois. Previously, this Heritage Area had only a single cancellation, for the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL. These 15 additional cancellations cover the heritage area’s official gateway cities of Alton, Bloomington, Danville, and Quincy. These cancellations also cover several other partner sites, including the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Lerna, where Lincoln’s father and stepmother lived once he was a grown man in Springfield. Also included are several sites associated with Lincoln practicing law, including those in Mt. Pualski, Pittsfield, and Taylorville. The remainder of the sites appear to be primarily associated with more-general history and visitation of the area, the most notable of which is the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, which is also the starting point for the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail.
The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area has been steadily adding stamps since joining the Passport Program in November 2014. You can find the Parkasaurus write-up for all the previous additions here. Particularly notable this month is the addition of a stamp for Bryant’s Grocery. In August 1955, a 14-year-old teenager from Chicago named Emmett Till was visiting his family in the small town of Money, Mississippi. On that trip, an incident with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, at Bryant’s Grocery, led to Till being murdered by Ms. Bryant’s husband, Roy Bryant and his half-brother, John W. Milam. Despite ample evidence, Bryant and Milam were acquitted by the all-white jury after a little more than an hour of deliberations. You can read more details on the events of the case in this account from famous-trials.com.
The other three stamps for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area this month can all be found in the town of Greenwood, Mississippi, which is just 17 miles to the south of Money. Fort Pemberton was the site of a minor Confederate victory as part of the Vicksburg campaign. The Museum of the Mississippi Delta comprehensively covers the human and natural history of the region. Robert Johnson was a renowned blues artist, and the most-likely site of his burial is Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Money Road in Greenwood.
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor | Stephen & Harriet Myers Residence
Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area | Stephen & Harriet Myers Residence
Oregon National Historic Trail |
Craters of the Moon NM & PRES
Fossil Butte NM
Pony Express National Historic Trail | Camp Floyd State Park
The Lolo Pass in Idaho is where the Lewis & Clark expedition made a treacherous mountain crossing in September 1805, despite the early onset of winter weather. This stamp will be available at the US Forest Service’s Lolo Pass Visitor Center on US Route 12. The new stamp for the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail finally replaces a previous stamp that had been available here from 2004 to 2007. In addition, this site has had a stamp for the Nez Perce National Historic Trail since 2011.
The new North Country National Scenic Trail replaces a previous stamp reading simply “New York” on the bottom that had been available at both the US Forest Service Finger Lakes Ranger Station in the town of Hector, NY as well as at Fort Stanwix National Monument in Rome, NY. The “New York” stamp is still available at Fort Stanwix.
The Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site preserves a small section of what was originally a 36 mile railroad using a series of cables to carry canal boats over the Allegheny Mountains between separate sections of the Pennsylvania Canal. Operating from 1834 to 1854, until steam engines rendered the system of canal boats and cables obsolete, the railroad is known to also have been used by slaves attempting to escape to freedom; hence its inclusion in the Underground Railroad Freedom Network.
Meanwhile, the main route of the Oregon National Historic Trail passes some 60 miles to the south of the 50 million year-old fossils of Fossil Butte National Monument at Fort Bridger and Fort Bridger State Historic Site. However, an alternate route, known as the Sublette Cutoff, passes within just 5 miles of the park, and the park has recently added the Oregon Trail to its interpretive activities. Interestingly, the nearest town to Fossil Butte is Kemmerer, Wyoming, which is the home of the original J.C. Penney store.
Finally, Camp Floyd State Park preserves a historic stagecoach inn, just south of the Salt Lake City metro area in the town of Fairfield. Camp Floyd is one of the first stops where the Pony Express National Historic Trail diverges from the California National Historic Trail. The California Trail, which took 49ers to the gold fields of California, roughly follows the route of what is now Interstate 80 across northern Utah and Nevada. The Pony Express Trail, however, took a route that was roughly 50 miles to the south, a route that doesn’t appear to have translated into our modern road system.
After some time away, I’m at least returning to blogging. To catch up, I’ve decided to go ahead and write the monthly new stamps post for the months I missed. Here are the new stamps for the month of September 2016:
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument | Penobscot County, ME
Natchez National Historical Park | Fort Rosalie
Nez Perce National Historical Park | Bear Paw Battlefield
Redwood National Park | Prairie Creek Redwoods SP
Redwood National Park | Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP
Rainbow Bridge National Monument |
Lees Ferry, AZ
Big Water, UT
California National Historic Trail | Fairway, KS
Oregon National Historic Trail | Fairway, KS
El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail | Mission Dolores State Historic Site
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail | Pismo Beach, CA
Old Spanish National Historic Trail | Arizona/Utah
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail | St. Clements Island SP, MD
Congress established Natchez National Historical Park in 1988 to encompass the historic district of Natchez, Mississippi, and to include three National Park Service-managed properties, the Melrose Plantation, the William Johnson House, and the archaeological site of Fort Rosalie. Fort Rosalie was a French trading post, established in 1716, and was the seed that eventually grew into the present-day town of Natchez. The original authorizing legislation required the National Park Service to first study the archaeological significance of Fort Rosalie before adding it to the park.
The Nez Perce National Historic Park includes 38 sites across the Pacific Northwest. The Bear Paw Battlefield site in Montana is where in 1877 Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce ended his attempts to flee US troops, just 40 miles short of safety across the Canadian Border. The new stamp replaces an earlier version and will be kept at the Blaine County Museum in nearby Chinook, Montana.
Redwood National Park operates as a mix of federal and state lands along the Pacific Coast of northernmost California. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park are two of the partners with this effort, and are managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. There are now 5 cancellation locations for Redwood National Park, three for the National Park Service visitor centers in Orick, Hiouichi, and Crescent City, and two for these two California State Parks. As an interesting historical footnote, one of these stamps was originally mis-printed as Jedediah Redwoods SP and was used for a short time before being replaced by a correctly-worded stamp. Additionally, no stamp at all has been issued for the third California State Park in this partnerships, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. This is presumably because as near as I can tell, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park lacks a proper visitor center as a location to place the stamp.
The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail stamp will presumably be found at the historic Price Historical Park in the town of Prismo Beach. Although the ranch was founded decades after the 18th-Century Anza Expedition, Anza and his companions passed through what is now called Price Canyon on the journey north to San Francisco Bay in 1775.
Two of the new stamps for the North Country National Scenic Trail will be at the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and at Itasca State Park in Park Rapids, Minnesota. Itasca State Park is, of course, famously home to the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River, making it one of the most-notable additions to the Passport Program this month. The significance of Itasca State Park has long made it one of the most-famous State Parks in the country, and now it is also part of the national Passport to Your National Parks program. The third stamp will be at the Douglas County Forestry Department in Solon Springs, Wisconsin.
Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve | Fort Casey State Park
Joshua Tree National Park | Oasis of Mara
Yellowstone National Park | Snake River Ranger Station
Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve | Slaven’s Roadhouse
Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway |
Cleveland History Center / University Circle
Hale Farm & Village
High Point of the Canal
Historic Zoar Village
Richard Howe House
California National Historic Trail | Salt Lake City, UT
The signature landmark in Dry Tortugas National Park is Fort Jefferson, which is located on Garden Key – about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. About two years ago, Dry Tortugas National Park added a second cancellation for the Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center on Key West. This new cancellation may simply be a replacement for the long-standing stamp reading “Dry Tortugas, FL” on the bottom; Garden Key being one of the largest of the Dry Tortugas and the primary visitor destination in the park.
Fort Jefferson was constructed in the years leading up to the Civil War. All of the islands in the Dry Tortugas, including Garden Key, are “dry,” meaning they lack fresh water, However, they occupy a strategic location for any ships travelling through the Florida Strait between the United States and Cuba, effectively controlling the approach to the U.S. Gulf Coast and the all-important Port of New Orleans. Nevertheless, the fort was never fully completed. It never saw action in the Civil War, and then was quickly rendered obsolete by the rapid evolution of naval technology in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
Joshua Tree National Park in southern California includes beautiful desert landscapes as well as many stands of the iconic joshua trees. One of the first settlers in the region, used a natural oasis to plant twenty-nine palm trees. That eventually led to the growth of the town of Twenty-Nine Palms, California. In turn, the town of Twenty-Nine Palms donated the original oasis to the National Park Service for use as the Park Headquarters and main Visitor Center. This stamp likely replaces the existing “Twenty-Nine Palms, CA” stamp found at the Park’s Oasis Visitor Center.
Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve is a partnership that preserves the agricultural landscapes of Whidbey Island, located north of Seattle in Puget Sound, and the history of European settlement in the Pacific Northwest. Fort Casey State Park on Whidbey Island is one of the Reserve’s partners. Fort Casey was built right around the turn of the 20th Century, and was designed to control the strategic entrance to Puget Sound and the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia.
The Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve in Alaska is one of nine national parks (including five that “count twice,” for a total of fourteen) in that state that are not accessible by road. Slaven’s Roadhouse is located some 45 miles down the Yukon River from the nearest road, at the junction of Coal Creek with the Yukon River. Roadhouses are an institution in Alaska, providing service to passing travelers across Alaska’s massive distances and remote wilderness. Slaven’s Roadhouse was established in the early 20th Century by Frank Slaven during the Klondike Gold Rush. The National Park Service restored the roadhouse in the early 1990’s, and ever since it has continued to serve its original purpose of providing shelter to travelers on the Yukon River. The National Park Service has a nice one-minute video about Slaven’s Roadhouse on its website. The new stamp for Slaven’s Roadhouse supplements the existing stamp for Coal Creek.
The California National Historic Trail marks the route of an earlier gold rush, the one to California in 1849. The new stamp for Salt Lake City, UT will be at the National Park Service’s Intermountain Region Trails Office in Salt Lake City, which administers many of the western trails.
Finally, for the Ohio & Erie Canalway, since I’ve been behind on these posts for a couple months, I’ve combined the new stamps for this Heritage Area from both July and September into this post. The original Ohio & Erie Canal was naturally inspired by the success of the Erie Canal, and stretched some 308 miles across central Ohio to the town of Portsmouth, where the Scioto River meets the Ohio River. Today, the Congressionally-designated National Heritage Area only includes the first 110 miles or-so of the Canal and surrounding areas in northeast Ohio, stretching from Cleveland, through Akron and Canton, to the town of New Philadelphia. The National Park Service has a comprehensive listing of Ohio & Erie Canalway sites on its website.
The stamp for the Cleveland History Center in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood was added to the list in July. Cleveland’s University Circle is named for the presence of Case Western Reserve University, which happens to be the Parkasaurus Blog’s alma maters. University Circle includes almost all of Cleveland’s premier cultural institutions, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. The Cleveland History Center is the museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society, which tells the story of the settlement and development of Cleveland and northeast Ohio. The name Western Reserve dates back to the days when the State of Connecticut actually laid claim to the lands that are now northeast Ohio, calling them its “Western Reserve.”
The Richard Howe House was formerly the home of the Ohio & Erie Canalway’s resident engineer. Today, it has been restored for use as a Canalway Visitor Center and moved from its original location to a location adjacent to the towpath.
Canal Fulton is one of the many historic towns located along the towpath. The Canalway Center located in town also includes canalboat rides on the replica vessel St. Helena III. Another unique historic town along the Canalway is Historic Zoar Village, which was founded by German separatists seeking religious freedom.
Finally, the Hale Farm & Village is also operated by the Western Reserve Historical Society, and had a new stamp listed in September. It is a living history farm, and is actually located within the larger boundaries of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail | Shenandoah National Park
Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership:
Lake George Historical Association Museum
Pember Museum of Natural History
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail:
South Fork, CO
Pagosa Springs, CO
Pie Town, NM
Silver City, NM
North Country National Scenic Trail:
Crown Point State Historic Site, NY
The headliners from this group are the stamps for the newly designated Stonewall National Monument in New York City and the relatively newly designated Honouliuli National Monument outside of Honolulu, Hawaii. Despite the name, Stonewall National Monument consists of Christopher Park, located adjacent to a bar known as the Stonewall Inn – which was famously the site of riots on June 28, 1969 protesting police harrassment of gays. The stamp is being made avaialable at an information table in the Park, as well as each of the seven other national park sites located in Manhattan and nearby Mount Vernon, NY.
Salem Maritime National Historic Site is located in the town just north of Boston that is perhaps most famous today for its 17th Century “witch trials.” However, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the town of Salem was famous for its maritime trading network that stretched literally around the world. Today, the National Park Service site encompasses the historic wharves and approximately 10 historic buildings.
On July 14, 2006, Eastern National celebrated the grand opening a new bookstore and gift shop for the Park, which they branded as “Waite & Peirce” after one of the most-prominent trading partnerships from the port’s heyday. Aaron Waite (1742-1830) appears to have formed his partnership with Jerathmiel Peirce (1747-1827) in 1778, at the height of the American Revolutionary War with Great Britain. Records indicate that they jointly owned the two-gun schooner, Greyhound, and they likely used it in privateering ventures – i.e. attempts to capture British merchant vessels. After the war, Waite & Peirce built a successful mercantile enterprise that lasted until Peirce’s death in 1827. Among their merchant vessels was the Friendship. A fully sea-worthy replica of that boat, the Friendship of Salem, is now part of the park.
The Custom House is one of the centerpieces of the park, and the largest of the park’s historical buildings. The Custom House is where government officials worked who were responsible for overseeing the trade in the port of Salem and imposing the appropriate custom duties on cargo shipments. One of those government officials was Nathaniel Hawthorne whose House with Seven Gables is not official part of the national park, but is also one of the most-significant historical sites in Salem.
The Derby House formerly belonged to the Derby family, one of Salem’s most-successful merchant families. The Friendship of Salem is docked on Derby Wharf, which is part of the park, and the Derby Light lighthouse, which dates back to 1871, is located at the end of the Derby Wharf. Finally, the Narbonne House is set back a little bit from Salem’s waterfront and is more typical of the residences for Salem’s working class and small business owner families.
In addition those stamps, I’ve also updated my master list of stamp locations to include five dated unofficial stamps featuring the trail logo offered by the Nez Perce National Historic Trail in Montana and Idaho. The Nez Perce Trail marks the route the Nez Perce Indians and their leader, Chief Joseph, took in 1877 as they fled the U.S. Army.
The list of new stamps for June is out, and all but one of them associated with partnership programs:
Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area |
Lawrence Twp (Maidenhead), NJ
1761 Brearley House, Lawrence Twp, NJ
David Brearley, NJ Signer of U.S. Constitution
Maidenhead Meadows, NJ
Maidenhead Road/King’s Highway, NJ
Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail | Lawrence Twp (Maidenhead), NJ
Coal National Heritage Area |
Country Roads Byway
Mine Wars Museum
Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area | Albany Pine Bush Preserve
Cuyahoga Valley National Park | Hunt House
The Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area encompasses much of central New Jersey. Up to this point, it has had a single Passport cancellation available at multiple sites, all identical and reading “New Jersey” on the bottom. These will be the Heritage Area’s first-place specific stamps. Lawrence Township is the newest official site in the Crossroads NHA Program, and all of the stamps, as well as the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail stamp, will be available at both the Lawrence Township Municipal Building during weekday hours and at the historic home of David Brearley, which has very limited hours.
When new sites are added to the Passport Program we have sometimes seen a high-level of enthusiasm expressed in the form of multiple stamps for what is essentially a single site. In particular, all of the stamps highlight Lawrence Township’s previous name as Maidenhead in the 18th Century, and its connection with David Brearley. Brearley served in the New Jersey militia, including at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, and indeed represented New Jersey at the Constitutional Convention. Brearley is buried in St. Michael’s Episcopal Church just a short down the road in nearby Trenton, New Jersey. As of this writing, his historic home dating from 1761 is open twice a month, from 10am to Noon on the first Saturday of the month and from 2pm to 3pm on the third Sunday of the month.
The Coal National Heritage Area in southern West Virginia has added two stamps this month. The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum is located in Matewan, WV and tells the story of the historical conflicts between labor unions and coal mining companies. In particular, the “Battle of Matewan” also known as the “Matewan Massacre” occurred in 1920 between coal miners and detectives hired by the local coal mine to evict some coal mining families living nearby from their houses. The ensuing gun battle left a total of 10 people dead.
The other new stamp is for the Country Roads Byway Visitor Center, located outside of Logan, West Virginia, which just opened last September. The visitor center has tourism information for the three county area covered by the Country Roads Byway.
Valles Caldera National Preserve is also a relatively new unit of the National Park System. Ever since it was transferred to the National Park Service by legislation in December 2014, it has been using an unofficial stamp reading “New Mexico” as the location. The “Jemez Springs, NM” stamp is its first official stamp from Eastern National, and will presumably replace the existing stamp.
The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail runs from the mouth of the Potomac in the Chesapeake Bay all the way up to Cumberland, Maryland and from there, into the Allegheny Highlands of Pennsylvania. The newest stamp is for a National Trust for Historic Preservation property adjacent to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Woodlawn Plantation was given as a gift by George Washington in 1799 to his nephew, Lawrence Lewis, upon his marriage to Martha Washington’s granddaughter, of all people, Eleanor Custis. By 1799, George Washington was two years removed from the Presidency, from which he retired from in 1797. The gift was made with some intent of keeping the new family close to home, as it were. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him, he was just a few months away from his sudden death due to some sort of upper respiratory ailment in December 1799. Woodlawn Plantation first became a historical house museum in 1949, and it would actually become the very first property acquired and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1957. In 1961, the property would add the Pope-Leighey House, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, that had to be relocated from nearby Falls Church, Virginia due to the construction of Interstate 66. The National Trust for Historic Preservation now owns or operates nearly two dozen historic buildings, and partners with the administration of a half-dozen others through cooperative agreements. Of the 20 properties owner or operated the Trust, this is the 5th to be included in the Passport Program.
The term “Bleeding Kansas” refers to the years of extensive civil conflict between pro-slavery and pro-abolition settlers spurred by the adoption of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 and culminating in the start of the Civil War in 1861.
The history of the antebellum United States is largely a history of tensions over slavery, divided between the southern states whose economies were largely dependent on slavery, and northern states who became increasingly in favor of abolition of slavery during this time. Following independence from Great Britain, the semi-independent state of Vermont, and the just-across-the-Appalachians states of Kentucky and Tennessee were added to the Union relatively quickly, all during the Presidency of George Washington. The fertile land of Ohio was added in March 1803, just months before the Louisiana Purchase would be completed. That would lead to the addition of the state of Louisiana, and its valuable port of New Orleans, in the spring of 1812 – just 49 days before the US would declare war in the War of 1812.
Thus, the initial wave of expansion left the United States with 18 stars on its flag, and a rough parity of 9 southern states (counting Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware) where slavery was legal and 9 northern states where slavery had been abolished since at least 1804 (when New Jersey became the last of them to abolish slavery). Following the War of 1812, the question of how to handle the expansion of the United States into the western territories, and in particular, how that might alter the parity between “slave” and “free” states became arguably the preoccupying political issue of the era. Indiana and Mississippi would join the Union almost exactly a year apart in December of 1816 and 1817 respectively. Illinois and Alabama would follow them in the Decembers of 1818 and 1819. Then the Missouri compromise of 1820 would allow Maine to split off from the rest of Massachusetts in March 1820, followed by Missouri joining as a “slave state” in August of 1821.
The Missouri Compromise was supposed to settle this issue by extending the line of the Virginia-North Carolina, Kentucky-Tennessee, and Missouri-Arkansas Territory borders westward, and providing that future states located within the Louisiana Purchase and to south of that line would be “slave states,” and that future states north of that line would be “free states.” This compromise more-or-less held as Arkansas was admitted in June 1836 and Michigan was added in January 1837. So too, with the addition of Florida and Texas in March and December of 1845, and then Iowa and Wisconsin in December 1846 and May 1848.
The admission of Wisconsin came just a little less than three months after the Mexican-American had ended in February, after less than two years of fighting. The results of that war would change the balance between “slave” and “free” states in ways that no way had anticipated. Unbeknownst to both the treaty negotiators ending the war and also to those in Congress admitting Wisconsin to the Union, gold had been found at Sutter’s Mill in California, less than two weeks before the war had ended. It would take several months for word of the discovery to reach the wider world, but by 1849 hundreds of thousands of “forty-niners” would be arriving in California, many along what is today marked by the National Park Service as the California National Historic Trail. Just one year later the massive influx of people would begin raising the question of statehood for California sooner than anyone had previously imagined and would begin the process of unravelling the Missouri Compromise.
Technically, the Missouri Compromise only applied to those lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, thus a new deal was technically required for how to handle the slavery question in the territories that had been newly conquered from Mexico. That deal was the Compromise of 1850. California would be admitted to the Union as a “free state.” In addition, instead of extending the Missouri Compromise line through the rest of the lands acquired in the Mexican-American War, the newly-formed New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory would each be allowed to decide the slavery question for themselves through popular sovereignty. This somewhat satisfied both sides as it opened the possibility of additional pro-slavery states in the new lands, but at the same time it was recognized in the north that the largely desert climate of these new states would likely be unsuitable for plantation-style agriculture. The compromise would also settle the northern and western boundaries of Texas (which had been added five years earlier) and also prohibit the slave trade (but not slavery itself) in the District of Columbia. In exchange for what on balance seemed like a major victory for the pro-abolition forces in the northern states, the southern states gained a truly major concession, passage of a much-stronger Fugitive Slave Act.
The Fugitive Slave Act established severe penalties for aiding an escaped slave, and imposed requirements for helping to return escaped slaves. The Fugitive Slave Act quickly became resented in the northern states, as in their view it essentially forced northerners to become complicit in the practice of slavery itself. Thus things simmered for four years until the question of future statehood for Kansas rose to the top of the agenda, especially as Kansas was located to the north of the Missouri Compromise line, and thus should have been a “free” state. On the other hand, with the admission of new states from the desert lands acquired in the Mexican-American war still many years away, there were no longer any obvious pairings of future “slave” and “free” states for admission to the Union. Thus, Senators from southern states began holding up legislation applying to the new territories, which not only would hold up their future admission to the Union, but also blocked the legal frameworks necessary for the extension westward of the future trans-continental railroad to California.
A solution to this impasse was struck in 1854 when Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, effectively repealing the Missouri compromise and extending the notion of “popular sovereignty” from the former Mexican territories to the future states of Kansas Nebraska. In exchange for this victory of southern states, the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed for construction of the trans-continental railroad to proceed. Still, the “popular sovereignty” provisions would soon prove disastrous, creating an immediate free-for-all as pro-slavery settlers from the south and pro-abolition settlers from the north flooded into Kansas in the hopes of altering Kansas’ final orientation as a “slave” or “free” state upon statehood. Tensions between the two sides were palpable, and violence would regularly erupt between the two sides off and on for the next several years. Even as Minnesota and Oregon would be added to the Union as “free states” in 1858 and 1859 (in part due to Oregon electing two pro-slavery Democrats as Senators, despite being a “free” state), the “Bleeding Kansas” era would only come to an end once the secession of the first six southern states allowed the Senate to ratify Kansas as the 34th (or the 28th, depending on your perspective) state of the Union in January 1861. The Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area was established to tell the stories from the front lines of the conflict over slavery in the years leading up the Civil War.
With these additions, there are now 2,008 total active cancellations in the Passport to Your National Parks program. Excluding the cancellations for anniversaries and special events, there 1,912 active cancellations available.