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 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 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.
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.
Cover Photo Credit of the Armstrong Museum: Kremerbi [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve | Hubbard Glacier – Yakutat
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training | Natchitoches, LA
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail |
Canyon Ferry Reservoir, MT
Fort Benton, MT
Yellowstone Gateway Museum, MT
Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area | Intermodal Tourist Center
MotorCities National Heritage Area |
Automotive Hall of Fame
Detroit Historical Museum
Detroit Institute of Arts
Durant – Dort Carriage Company
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Gilmore Car Museum
GM – Renaissance Center
Historic Fort Wayne
Meadow Brook Hall
Michigan Historical Center
Michigan Military Tech. & Hist. Soc.
Old Mill Museum
Plymouth Historical Museum
R. E. Olds Transportation Museum
Roush Automotive Collection
Sloan Auto Museum
Stahls Automotive Foundation
Walker Tavern Historic Site
Yankee Air Museum
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve is the largest unit in the National Park System, encompassing 13.2 million acres around Alaska’s “southeastern hinge” between the panhandle and the main part of the state. The new stamp this month combines two previously separate stamps, one for the Hubbard Glacier and the other for the Yakutat Ranger Station. The Hubbard Glacier is at the extreme southeastern end of this park, at the point where Alaska itself is the narrowest, and the Alaska Panhandle is squeezed between the Pacific Ocean, the Canadian Yukon Territory and Province of British Columbia. The Hubbard Glacier area is only accessible by boat or by plane, and has been described to me by one National Park Ranger who has worked in the area as “one of the most-spectacular sights in all of the National Park System.” The town of Yakutat is actually located a dozen miles away from the park itself, across Yakutat Bay in the Tongass National Forest, and more than 25 miles away from the Hubbard Glacier itself, but is the only community of any size in the area. Rangers based in Yakutat are responsible for managing the visitors who approach the Hubbard Glacier area by boat, cruise ship, or seaplane.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves an extensive portion of the Colorado River, including several of its tributaries, in southern Utah and northern Arizona. In particular, it includes the Colorado River from the moment that it flows west out of Canyonlands National Park into the eponymous Glen Canyon, and then as the rivers widen into the famous Lake Powell, formed by the Glen Canyon Dam in the city of Page in northern Arizona. The park then also includes the Colorado River’s path through Marble Canyon south of the Glen Canyon Dam to the western tip of Grand Canyon National Park. The two stamps this month are replacements for existing stamps. One is for the Park’s main visitor center, the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center, in the Arizona town of Marble Canyon. The Navajo Bridge is one of just two bridges (and one car ferry) across more than 250 miles of the Colorado River from the Hoover Dam all the way upstream to the remote town of Hite in central Utah. This spectacular bridge is both an important transportation corridor in this part of the country, as well as an architectural landmark itself.
The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is a research institute that was founded in 1994 on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The National Park Service facility has the mission of advancing the state of the art in the preservation of historic resources of all types. Its not clear how much of this facility really caters to visitors, but this stamp does advance the growing trend towards even National Park Service management offices having a Passport cancellation. One aspect of the National Park Service that many people don’t think about is the huge collection of historic artifacts in the various National Park Service museum collections from Civil War battlefields, to southwest American Indian pueblos, to pioneer forts and ancient fossil beds. This center brings in National Park Service employees from across the country to help meet that preservation challenge.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail now has 37 active cancellations with the addition of these three new cancellations from the state of Montana. The town of Fort Benton, in the central part of the state, contains the interpretive center for the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, which is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. That monument preserves spectacular cliffs and rock formations, as well as one of the last wild stretches of the Missouri River that remains much as Lewis & Clark would have experienced it. The Canyon Ferry Reservoir is located much further upstream, near the state capital of Helena. Suffice to say, the Canyon Ferry dam has not left the Missouri River much as Lewis & Clark would have experienced it, as has happened to so many stretches of the Missouri River. However, the dams are import sources of electrical power and flood control, and also provide natural points for providing historical interpretation. Finally, the Yellowstone Gateway Museum is located in Livingston, MT, just east of Bozeman, MT on the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone River Valley was explored by William Clark on the return trip home from the Pacific Ocean.
Finally, this month it is the turn of the Motor Cities National Heritage Area to expand. This heritage area includes portions of 16 counties in southeast and central Michigan, and the partner association for his heritage area focuses on programs and activities telling the history of the automobile industry in the area. Up to this point, the heritage area had 18 active cancellations, and the new additions this month bring it to 27 active active cancellations. Since this is a reboot of the passport program for the Heritage Area, I’ll give a brief overview of all the active cancellations.
Eastern Michigan is the home of America’s iconic automobile brands, and a number of automobile museums, 10 of which have cancellations now. The GM – Renaissance Center is located in the world headquarters of General Motors in downtown Detroit. The Sloan Auto Museum in Flint, Michigan is devoted to the history of the Buick brand, and is now part of a larger science center. Also in Flint is the museum of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company‘s offices, which is believed to have been the largest manufacturer of horse-drawn carriages in the age before the automobile. The R. E. Olds Transportation Museum in the state capital of Lansing, Michigan is dedicated to the history of the Oldsmobile brand. The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum in the town of the same name has a collection ranging across a number of current and former automotive brands, including a Hudson Hornet race car – a car made famous in the Disney-Pixar “Cars” series of movies. Also in Ypsilanti is the Michigan Firehouse Museum, with collections spanning the history of fire fighting equipment, including the history of fire fighting vehicles. The Roush Automotive Collection in Livonia is dedicated to the history of the company, and includes a large number of race cars. The Gilmore Car Museum in the town of Hickory Corners has a collection of more than 200 vehicles, along with other attractions. The Stahls Automotive Foundation has more than 80 vehicles in Chesterfield, Michigan. Finally, the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn has honored more than 800 significant figures in the automotive industry from around the world.
Dearborn is also the home of the most-famous automotive industrialist of all time, Henry Ford. There are seven cancellations dedicated to his legacy. Several of the MotorCities NHA passport locations are dedicated to him, his family, and his works. The Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan and the Old Mill Museum in Dundee, Michigan both preserve early 19th-century grist mills that were once owned by Henry Ford. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is where Henry Ford produced the first Model T. Edsel Ford was Henry Ford’s only child, and the home he shared with his wife Eleanor in Grosse Pointe Shores is now open for visitation. The Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport in Belleville, Michigan is where Henry Ford directed the construction the B-24 Liberator Bombers during World War II. Today it has a number of display aircraft, and also offers rides in historic aircraft. The Henry Ford National Historic Landmark in Dearborn, Michigan is one of the largest museums in the country, devoted to the history of the industrial revolution in the United States, along with other aspects of modern American history. Greenfield Village is a living history museum attached to The Henry Ford with an extensive collection of historic buildings. Among those historic buildings, is the home of the Wright Brothers, which was moved here by Henry Ford from Dayton, Ohio, long before the site eventually became part of Dayton Aviation National Historical Park.