There are four new stamps on Eastern National’s list for April, three at two national parks, and one at a national historic trail:
- Assateague Island National Seashore | 50th Anniversary 1965-2015
- Cape Lookout National Seashore | Great Island Cabins
- Cape Lookout Naitonal Seashore | Long Point Cabins
- Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail | Philadelphia, PA
Additionally, there were two other stamps that were previously reported, but were listed as “new” on the list for the first time this month. One was for the Civil War Defenses of Washington | 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, which was used to commemorate that 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens on the outskirts of Washington, DC back in July 2014, and the other is for the National Park Service’s Washington Support Office in downtown Washington, DC.
With the new stamp for Assateague Island National Seashore, this actually marks the fourth straight month that a new anniversary stamp has been issued. While anniversary stamps used to be an occasional novelty in the Passport Program, there’s no question that they now seem to be a definite trend. While some people like having the extra anniversary cancellations available, at Parkasaurus, we don’t see how it makes sense to make a stamp for a one-year anniversary with a seven-year adjutable-date wheel. Traditionally, collecting all the passport stamps at a national park would be a way of ensuring that you visited all the major sites within the park, but an Anniversary stamp arguably falls into a different category. Ideally, we’d like to see parks celebrating anniversaries to offer creatively-designed anniversary bonus stamps instead.
Anyhow, it is interesting to note that three of the four new stamps this month are for National Seashores. There are 10 national seashores and 4 national lakeshores in the U.S. National Park System. The first, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, was established way back in 1937. The other 13 national seashores and national lakeshores, however, were all established in a 14-year period from 1961 to 1975, starting with Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts on August 7, 1961 and ending with Canaveral National Seashore in Florida on January 3, 1975.
This burst of activity in protecting pristine seashore and lakeshore environments is often attributed to the influence of Lady Bird Johnson, During her husband’s Presidency, Lady Bird Johnson was known as a prominent advocate of the U.S. National Park System, and she famously envisioned a system of national seashores as a “string of pearls” along the coast of the United States. The 1960’s were obviously a period of tremendous growth in the post-World War II “vacation culture” in the United States, and development of coastal areas in the United States. Nevertheless, it is amazing to think that for more than a decade up to the very beginning of 1975 nearly one new national seashore or national lakeshore was established, and that there has not been a single new one since.
The two new stamps for Cape Lookout National Seashore are to be located at the Ranger Stations associated with each of two separate groups of rental cabins available on the Seashore. Both sets of cabins are fairly rustic. The Great Island Cabins are wired for electricity, but incredibly are “BYOG” – bring your own generator. The Long Point Cabins do have electricity and air conditioning. However, neither set of cabins includes a refrigerator; bring your own cooler, and ice is available for purchase on the island.
With these additions, Cape Lookout National Seashore now has six stamps. The Beaufort, NC stamp (just released in September 2014) and the Harker’s Island, NC stamp at the park’s main visitor center are both located on the mainland. The remaining four stamps will all require a ferry ride. The Light Station Visitor Center stamp at the Keepers Quarters for the iconic Cape Lookout Lighthouse is accessible by ferry from the Harker’s Island area. The Great Island Cabins and the Long Point Cabins are accessible by ferries from Davis, NC and from Atlantic, NC, respectively. Finally, the stamp for Portsmouth Village actually requires two ferries, a ferry to Ocracoke Island on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and from there, a ferry to Porstmouth Village – making it one of the most-remote stamps in the Passport Program. Portsmouth Villlage is the best-preserved ghost town east of the Mississippi River, having formerly served as a “lightering village” – a way station to transfer cargo from heavy ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean on to lighter ships traversing the Ocracoke Inlet through the Outer Banks. The village was slowly abandoned after the shifting sands of the Outer Banks and changing technology rendered the lightering system obsolete, and today it is now also famous for having perhaps some of the most vicious mosquitoes in all of the U.S. National Park System – but that is perhaps a blog post for another day.
The fourth stamp this month is for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail. In 1780, the nascent United States took its informal alliance with France in the Revolutionary War to a new level with the arrival of a few hundred French ground trips in Newport, Rhode Island under the command of General Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau. This national historic trail (which is not one of the 407 national parks) commemorates the route that Washington and Rochambeau took with their forces to Yorktown, Virginia and the last major military action of the Revolutionary War. There, perhaps even more significant than the presence of French ground forces, the presence of the French Navy effectively cut off British General Charles Cornwallis’ avenue of retreat by seas. With no other option, that forced General Cornwallis, in 1781, to surrender to General Washington, the American Army played “The World Turned Upside Down,” and two years later the war would officially be over with the Treaty of Paris being signed in 1783.
There previously have been two stamps available for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route NHT. One of them lists all the States through which the trail passes, “CT DC DE MA MD NJ NY PA RI VA,” available at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia and Thoms Stone National Historic Site in Maryland. The other just lists “DC, MD, VA;” available at the George Washington Memorial Parkway‘s Headquarters at Turkey Run Park in Virginia. This new stamp will simply say “Philadelphia, PA” on the bottom and will be the first place-specific stamp for this Trail. It will presumably either compliment or replace the existing stamp listing all the States at Independence NHP.
Speaking of the end of a war, there was also a new stamp discovered this month that was not on the monthly list. This stamp was for Appomattox Court House NHP | 150th Anniversary of the Surrender. The village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia is, of course, the place where the Civil War effectively came to an end with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses. S. Grant and his Army of the Potomac, 150 years ago this month.
With the addition of these five new stamps, by our calculations there are now 1,886 active cancellations to collect, with 79 of those being for anniversaries or special events.
Update: This post was updated on April 13th to add the paragraph clarifying that the new Washington-Rochambeau NHT stamp at Independence NHP will be different from the generic stamp that has already been available there for the last couple years.
Share this Parkasaurus post: