Tag Archives: John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway

September 2017 Stamps – Crossroads of the Revolution and More!

Campers at Rob Hill in Golden Gate National Recreation Area can get a new Passport Stamp and may want to take a walk to check out the Golden Gate Bridge or the Fort Point National Historic Site. Photo from 2015.

The new stamps for September 2017 (yes, 2017 – but we’re happy to be back) are highlighted by a plethora of stamps for the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, and a few more:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area | Rob Hill

Salem Maritime National Historic Site |

      • America’s First
      • Hawkes House
      • St. Joseph Hall

Yellowstone National Park | Bechler Ranger Station

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail | Smallwood State Park, MD

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail |

      • Old Jefferson, TN
      • Webber Falls Museum, OK

Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area |

      • Copake Iron Works
      •  Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
      • Woodstock Playhouse

Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area |

      • Abraham Clark Memorial House
      • Battle of Connecticut Farms
      • Battle of Springfield
      • Battle of the Short Hills
      • Belcher-Ogden Mansion
      • Boxwood Hall
      • Caldwell Parsonage
      • Cannonball House
      • Carter House
      • Deacon Andrew Hetfield House
      • Drake House
      • Dr William Robinson Plantation
      • Elizabeth and Gershom Frazee House
      • First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
      • King’s Highway
      • Liberty Hall
      • Littell-Lord Farmstead
      • Merchants & Drovers Tavern
      • Miller-Cory House
      • Osborn Cannonball House
      • Plainfield Meeting House
      • Salt Box Museum
      • Snyder Academy
      • St. John’s Parsonage
      • The Deserted Village
      • Washington-Rochambeau NHT
      • Woodruff House – Eaton Store Museum
The Battle of Short Hills is one of many stamps this month for the Crossroads of the Revolution National Heritage Area. Photo credit: Brian Bailey, 2017

Working in reverse order this month, the most notable addition to the Passport Program are the 27 stamps for the Crossroads of the Revolution National Heritage Area.  Although this Heritage Area includes sites associated with the Revolutionary War across 14 counties in central New Jersey, all 27 of this month’s additions are located in Union County New Jersey, which is part of the greater New York City metropolitan area.   Many of the historic sites in Union County have limited hours, some as little as one weekend a month, and others are even open only by appointment only.  However, Union County hosts a “Four Centuries in a Weekend” event each year during the third weekend in October, when all of these sites will be open.   So make your plans for this coming October accordingly!

If you aren’t up for visiting all 27 sites in Union County, a few of these sites are more strongly connected to the primary Revolutionary War mission of this National Heritage Area.

The Battle of the Short Hills was fought on June 26, 1777 over a stretch of 12 miles.  The stamp can be found at the Ash Brook Reservation County Park, along with the stamp for the Washington-Rochambeau NHT.  The Ash Brook Reservation is a nature preserve protecting in part some authentic New Jersey swamp.   The Elizabeth and Gershom Frazee House in Scotch Plains briefly saw the arrival of British troops during the battle.  Also in Plainfield are the Osborn Cannonball House, which was struck by a British cannonball, and the Drake House, which was once used as Washington’s Headquarters during the battle.  The nearby Plainfield Meetinghouse was built in 1788 by the Quakers and is still an active Quaker community to this day.

The Battle of Connecticut Farms was a three-hour engagement fought on June 7, 1780 in the town of Union, NJ.   The stamp for this battle can be found at the Caldwell Parsonage in Union.  The current Caldwell Parsonage was rebuilt in 1782 after the original was burned by the British following the Battle of Connecticut Farms.   The historic home features a painting of the battle, as well as both stamps.

The Battle of Springfield occurred two weeks later on June 23, 1780, and is known primarily as the last Revolutionary War battle fought in the northern colonies before the fateful Battle of Yorktown in September and October 1781.  This stamp can be found at the Cannon Ball House in Springfield.  This historic home features a cannonball still lodged in its walls from the Battle of Springfield, as well as both stamps.

Boxwood Hall is another one of the many new Passport locations in Union County, New Jersey. Photo credit: Brian Bailey, 2017

The Boxwood Hall State Historic Site preserves the the former house of Elias Boudinot in Elizabeth, NJ.  Boudinot served as a President of the Continental Congress.  Nearby is the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, which was burned by the British in 1780 and was rebuilt in 1790, and the St. John’s Parsonage in Elizabeth, whose earliest portions date back to the 18th Century.   The Abraham Clark Memorial House in Roselle is a 1941 replica of the house of one of New Jersey’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Unfortunately, the original burned in 1900.   The Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University in Union preserves the home of William Livingston.  Livingston was New Jersey’s first Governor and a signer of the Constitution. The Carter House in Summit and the Miller-Cory House in Westfield each date back to the 1740’s.  The Miller-Cory House in particular now operates as a living history museum, with frequent special events.

By contrast, the Dr. William Robinson Plantation in Clark and the Belcher-Ogden Mansion in Elizabeth both date all the way back to New Jersey’s earliest colonial times in the 17th Century.

A number of other sites preserve the post-Revolutionary War history of Union County.  The Deserted Village Visitor Center is in the Watchung Reservation County Park.  The Deserted Village is a former company town created by New York businessman David Felt in 1845, and thus was known as “Feltville” in its hey day.  Also dating to the 19th Century are the Littell-Lord Farmstead in Berkeley Heights, the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum in Rahway, and the Salt Box Museum in New Providence.  The Salt Box Museum is so-named because the unusual way in which two historic houses were joined together in the mid-19th century left a visual impression that resembled a salt box. The Merchants and Drovers Tavern also includes the stamp for King’s Highway.  The King’s Highway was a colonial-era road connecting Boston, Massachusetts to Charleston, South Carolina. It was built over a period of more than 80 years on the orders of Britain’s Charles II beginning in 1650.   Astute Passport observers may note that there is also a Crossroads of the Revolution NHA stamp for “Maidenhead Road/King’s Highway, NJ” located at the David Brearley House in Lawrenceville, near Trenton.  That stamp was discussed by Parkasaurus in June 2016.

Some of the locations have origins hundreds of years ago as well as 20th Century significance.  The Woodruff House-Eaton Store of Hillside, which includes an 18th-Century House, a circa-1900 neighborhood store, and a museum devoted to former New York Yankees baseball player Phil Rizzuto.  The Deacon Andrew Hetfield House in Mountainside was built in 1760, and was expanded in the 19th Century, and later became the home of MacKinlay Kantor.  Kantor is the author of the Civil War novel Andersonville, about the Confederate Prisoner of War Camp preserved in Georgia as Andersonville National Historic Site.

Smallwood State Park in Maryland is the latest Passport addition to the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Photo Credit: Cohee from Wikimedia Commons

The new stamp for Smallwood State Park on the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail joins an existing stamp for the Captain John Chesapeake National Historic Trail at this location, which was released along with quite a few others in September 2015 | Parkasaurus.  The site preserves the summer estate of Revolutionary War General and former Maryland Governor William Smallwood.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes a number of parklands in and around the city of San Francisco, California.  Among the many properties included is the former military installation known as “The Presidio.”  Rob Hill is the name of the group campground maintained by the Presidio Trust, one of the non-profit partners of the Golden Gate NRA, on the grounds of the The Presidio, right in the heart of the city of San Francisco.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site was actually the first National Park Service area to be dedicated a National Historic Site, back in March 1938.   One of its new stamps this month commemorates this landmark status.   The Park itself includes approximately 10 historic buildings, and the other two new stamps complement the five new stamps issued in July 2016.

Yellowstone National Park already has 14 Passport Cancellations.   However, the new cancellation for the Bechler Ranger Station in the lightly-visited southwest corner of the Park adds a new twist the Passport itinerary for Yellowstone.   There are no roads connecting the southwest corner of the Park to the Grand Loop Road that connects almost all the other destinations in the park.  Reaching the Bechler Ranger Station will take a nearly two hour drive outside the park from Yellowstone’s West Entrance in Montana, and a more than three hour drive from Yellowstone’s South Entrance at the border with the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway and Grand Teton National Park.

The “Old Jefferson Site” is a section of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail that was only identified by researchers in recent years.  The site is located in the East Fork Recreation Area, near Murfreesboro, TN, and is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The town of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma is named after a Cherokee Chief, Walter Webber, who established a trading post near the falls of the Arkansas River here in 1818, a dozen years before President Andrew Jackson would sign the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which officially began the “Trail of Tears.”  The Webbers Falls Museum is the historical society museum for the town.

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area adds three new stamps this month.  The Copake Iron Works are located very close to the New York-Massachusetts border, about halfway between Poughkeepsie and Albany.  The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is located just north of the Tappan-Zee bridge on the east side of the Hudson River.  The town was made famous by author Washington Irving, who is buried there.  The Woodstock Playhouse is a an outdoor arts venue in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.   The famous Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 was actually held some 40 miles away for logistical reasons, but the Woodstock Playhouse has a history of its own going back to the 1930’s.

The remains of the blast furnace at Copake Iron Works, a new Cancellation location for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area this month. Photo credit: IlyaSukhanov, from Wikimedia Commons
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August Stories Behind the Stamps – Reserves & Roadhouses

Fort Casey State Park in Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve is one of this week's new cancellation locations. Photo Credit NPS.gov
Fort Casey State Park in Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is one of this week’s new cancellation locations. Photo Credit NPS.gov

Here are the additions for the month of August:

Dry Tortugas National Park | Garden Key

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 |

      • Canal Fulton
      • 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

Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park almost literally spills over the edges of Garden Key. A small sand bar connects Garden Key to nearby Bush Key, and then to nearby Long Key beyond that.
Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park almost literally spills over the edges of Garden Key. A small sand bar connects Garden Key to nearby Bush Key, and then to nearby Long Key beyond that.  Photo credit NPS.gov.

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.

The Snake River at sunrise in the near vicinity of the Snake River Ranger Station. Photo from 2006.
The Snake River at sunrise in the near vicinity of the Snake River Ranger Station. Photo from 2006.

The Snake River Ranger Station is located at the southern end of Yellowstone National Park and serves as the primary contact point for visitors arriving from Grand Teton National Park along the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.  This is also a replacement for an existing stamp.

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.

Slaven's Roadhouse has been retored and once again serves wearly travelers in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Photo credit: NPS.gov
Slaven’s Roadhouse has been retored and once again serves wearly travelers in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Photo credit: NPS.gov

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.

The Ohio & Erie Canal towpath and an old lock, near the town of Peninsula in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Ohio & Erie Canal towpath and an old lock, near the town of Peninsula in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Photo from 2011.

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.

The high point of the Ohio & Erie Canalway is located near Summit Lake in downtown Akron, OH.

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.

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Sidebars on National Memorials

This post is a sidebar to my main post on “When Is a National Memorial a National Park?” with some interesting side notes and related facts that didn’t fit into the main post.

Sidebar #1

The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial bookends the National Mall on the east end. Although it has a Passport stamp, it is not one of the memorials officially recognized as a national memorial. Photo from 2015.
The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial bookends the National Mall on the east end. Although it has a Passport stamp, it is not one of the memorials officially recognized as a national memorial. Photo from 2015.

It should be noted that there are many more memorials in the Washington, DC area, almost all of which are part of the U.S. National Park System through the National Capital Parks catchall unit.  Many of these memorials even have their own Passport cancellations, namely the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, the George Mason Memorial,  the Francis Scott Key Memorial, the John Ericsson Memorial, the John Paul Jones Memorial,  the District of Columbia World War Memorial,  the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the African-American Civil War Memorial, and the Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II.  Also included in this group are the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the Saipan American Memorial Affiliated Area in the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Cape Henry Memorial, where a French fleet cut off the British army’s escape from Yorktown during the American Revolution, at Colonial National Historical Park.  Each of these memorials is considered to be a Congressionally-authorized commemorative work, of which there are many others, particularly in Washington, DC – but they do not rise to the level of being national memorials.

Sidebar #2

This reconstruction of a fort built by Lewis & Clark on the Pacific Coast was original designated as Fort Clatsop National Memorial, before being incorporated into an expanded and redesignated Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in 2004 during the expedition's bicentennial celebration.
This reconstruction of a fort built by Lewis & Clark on the Pacific Coast was original designated as Fort Clatsop National Memorial.  Photo from 2004.

Two national parks were originally designated as national memorials, but have since been renamed.  The present-day Lewis & Clark National Historical Park incorporated the area originally-designated as Fort Clatsop National Memorial in Oregon.  The original designation was made because the Fort Clatsop at the center of the park was a reconstruction of the fort built by the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to spend the winter near the Pacific Ocean in 1805-1806.

The present-day Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota was originally established as Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, and so is no longer a national memorial.

Sidebar #3

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is also a memorial to the many historical events that happened there.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is also a memorial to the many historical events that happened there. Photo from 2015.

It is also worth noting that a handfull of national monuments dedicated to historical resources and one national historical park are actually described by Congress in their authorizing legislation as national memorials.  However, they do not seem to be listed anywhere else as national memorials, so I am not including them in the overall count, but I will nonetheless mention them here:

In addition to those, there are the George Washington Memorial Parkway in northern Virginia and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway connecting Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming.  Neither appears to be considered an official national memorial either – although if you did, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. would join Robert L. Kohnstamm as the only conservationists with national memorials dedicated to them.

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