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.   

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