Tag Archives: Juan Bautista de Anza NHT

July 2017 Stamps – Mississippi Gulf Coast NHA Expands Their Passport Program

The LaPointe-Krebs House, also known as the Old Spanish Fort is one of many new stamps this month for the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area. Photo Credit: Chris Pruitt, 2012, (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The new stamps this month are dominated by the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, which I’ll divide up into two groups for reaons I’ll explain in a moment:

Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area |

  • Dizzy Dean Welcome Center
  • Headquarters
  • Fly GPT
  • Lucedale – George Co. Library
  • Hancock Co. Welcome Center
  • Jackson County Chamber
  • Jackson Co. Welcome Center
  • Pearl River Co. Welcome Center
  • Stone County
  • Visit MS Gulf Coast
  • Charnley Norwood House
  • DeSoto National Forest
  • Gulf Islands NS Davis Bayou
  • INFINITY Science Center
  • LaPointe – Krebs Museum
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
  • Pascagoula River Audubon Center
  • Walter Anderson Museum of Art
  • Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum

There are just three other new stamps to list:

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail | Lake Perris SRA

Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway | Mustill Store Museum, Akron, OH

National Parks of New York Harbor | Northeast Regional

 

A map of the six counties in the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, as provided by Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, which is the managing partner association for the Heritage Area.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area includes the six southern-most counties in Mississippi that comprise the “foot” of the State of Mississippi.   This Heritage Area joined the Passport Program in 2011 with an initial allocation of 20 cancellations.  This month, they have ordered replacement stamps for each of those 20 original cancellations, along with the 19 brand new cancellations listed above.

I’ve broken up the new cancellations into two groups for convenience.  The first group are stamps for locations providing general tourist information.   There are cancellations located at the headquarters offices of the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, as well as the offices of the Gulf Coast Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (Vist MS Gulf Coast.)   Both of these are located in Biloxi in the heart of the Heritage Area in Harrison County.  In addition, there are new cancellations for each of the five surrounding counties, including two for Jackson County.  There are also two new cancellations for welcoming visitors entering the Heritage Area, including one at the Biloxi-Gulfport Airport, and another at the Dizzy Dean Welcome Center located on US Route 49, the primary route for travelers heading into the area from the north.

Early morning fog on the Davis Bayou at Gulf Islands National Seashore,, another of the many new stamp additions for the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area. Photo Credit: Fsendek1904 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The second group of stamps represent  highlight destinations within the Heritage Area itself.  Gulf Islands National Seashore includes parts of coastal Mississippi and Florida (but alas, does not include any part of Alabama in between.)   The Davis Bayou protects the natural coastal environment near the main visitor center for the Mississippi portion of the park in Ocean Springs.  Also protecting the natural environment of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and nearby environs are DeSoto National Forest and the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.

Two historic houses are also among the new locations.  The LaPointe-Krebs House in Pascagoula dates back to 1757, and is the oldest building in the entire Mississippi River Valley.  The Charnley-Norwood House in Ocean Springs “only” dates back to 1890, and was designed by architecht Louis Sullivan, who may have had a helping hand from a young draftsman in his office, Frank Lloyd Wright.

The INFINITY Science Center on the Mississippi-Louisiana border opened in 2012 and serves as the visitor center for NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center.   The Stennis Center is NASA’s largest rocket engine testing facility.

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art is located in Ocean Springs, and is dedicated to the art of the namesake artist.   Walter Ingliss Anderson was active in the early-to-mid 20th Century, and is known for his depictions of life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.   The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is a children’s museum located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Finally, the Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum is dedicated to more-recent history.  The museum tells the story of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in Waveland, Mississippi.

As mentioned before, these 19 new additions join 20 earlier cancellations.  Of those, 12 were also at local chambers of commerce, city halls, or visitor centers.  The other eight sites include:

An aerial view of Lake Perris State Recreation Area in California, the newest Passport location for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Photo Credit: Doc Searls [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Lake Perris State Recreation Area is located in southern California and has a new cancellation this month for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.  A wayside exhibit at the southern end of the lake marks the approximate spot of the de Anza Expedition’s 58th encampment out of some 100 encampments on their way to San Francisco Bay.  Shortly after passing by this area, the Expedition would cross what is now Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is also a passport location for the trail.  While crossing that area on December 30, 1775, a member of the expedition became the first person European descent to give birth in present-day California.

The stamp for the Mustill Store in Akron is a replacement for a previous stamp that simply read “Akron, OH” on the bottom.  The historic building is now operated as a visitor center for Canal Locks Park and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath.

The National Parks of New York Harbor is a National Park Service management unit overseeing all the National Parks in New York City and the immediately-adjacent areas.  The new stamp for Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train is for use in the Trails and Rails Program providing information on national parks to Amtrak passengers.

Finally, a special stamp was discovered this month at the National Park Service outreach tent at the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree.  This is the second quadrennial National Jamboree held at the Boy Scouts of America’s new Summit Bechtel Family Scout Reserve facility, located adjacent to the New River Gorge National River in southern West Virginia.   Although it doesn’t appear that there was a Passport cancellation available at the 2013 Jamboree, a special cancellation marking the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America was available at the 2009 National Jamboree, which was the eighth and final jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.  As of this writing, that stamp can still be obtained, upon request, at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Bookstore at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park.

With these new additions there are now  2,200 regular Passport Cancellations available!  Including stamps for special events and programs, like the Scout Jamboree and Trails Rails, that total rises to 2,428.  Happy stamping!

The scenery of the New River Gorge National River provides a scenic backdrop to the Boy Scouts of America’s new Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Photo from 2006.
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June 2017 New Stamps – Reconstruction Era NM Expands Their Passport Program and More Trail Stamps

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail continues to add cancellations around the Chesapeake Bay. This photo is from a new cancellation in Chestertown, MD.

 

Blue Ridge Parkway | Doughton Park Visitor Center

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail | C&O Canal NHP HQ

Reconstruction Era National Monument |

        • Port Royal
        • St. Helena Island

San Juan Island NHP | Friday Harbor, WA

California National Historic Trail | Martin’s Cove, WY

Oregon National Historic Trail | Martin’s Cove, WY

El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail | NM Public Lands Info Ctr.

Santa Fe National Historic Trail | NM Public Lands Info Ctr.

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail | Roving Ranger

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail | Historic Nauvoo

Old Spanish National Historic Trail  | Kelso Depot

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail | Trail of Tears Assoc., OK

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail |

        • Columbia, PA
        • Chestertown, MD
        • Great Falls, MD
        • Sandy Point State Park, MD
        • Gloucester, VA
        • Warsaw, VA
The Rappahannock River National Wildlife Refuge in Warsaw, Virginia is also a new cancellation location this month for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT.

The highlight of this month’s new stamps come from the newly designated Reconstruction Era National Monument in South Carolina.   The initial stamp for this new national park was released just a couple months ago in April 2017.   That first stamp was for historic Beaufort, South Carolina, which was captured by Union forces in the early days of the Civil War in 1861, and so was one of the places where the process of reconstruction in the south began.  Beaufort was also the birthplace of Robert Smalls, who was born into slavery in 1839.  During the Civil War, in 1862, Smalls made a daring escape from nearby Charleston, taking the helm of the confederate ship CSS Planter, slipping it past the guns of Fort Sumter, and taking it out to sea where he could surrender to Union forces.  In an amazing and ironic historic twist, Robert Smalls would later use the prize money he was awarded for the capture of the Confederate ship to later purchase a home in Beaufort that had actually been owned by the very family that had once owned him.

Port Royal is located just to the south of Beaufort proper.  Port Royal was the site of Camp Saxton, where Union forces recruited the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Regiment from among the enslaved black population of the area.

Also in the same year of  Robert Smalls’ daring escape in 1862, even as the Civil War was still crescendoing to its full peak,  two women from Pennsylvania arrived in the area to begin providing an education to the freed blacks.   They soon moved their school into an old brick church on St. Helena Island, just to the east of Beaufort proper, which is the third passport location for this park.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is adding a new cancellation this month for the new Doughton Park Visitor Center. Photo from 2016.

The Blue Ridge Parkway has added a 19th visitor center and passport location this month, with the addition of the Doughton Park Visitor Center.  Located at milepost 241, it fills a gap between the Blue Ridge Music Center at milepost 213 and the Cone Memorial Park Visitor Center at milepost 294.  Interestingly, there was previously a cancellation for the Cumberland Knob Visitor Center at milepost 219, but that location is now closed with the opening of the nearby Blue Ridge Music Center in 2006, and that cancellation is now in the history books.

According to a report in the Wautauga (NC) Democrat, this location was previously operated by a concessionaire as Bluff’s Lodge and Coffee Shop, but has been closed since 2010.  A partnership effort was organized, seeded by an anonymous donation to restore the property, which had deteriorated.  This year it is reopening as the Doughton Park Visitor Center and will be managed by Eastern National, which also runs the Parks Passport Program. Interestingly, the visitor center is only Phase 1 of the restoration of the project.  Phase 2 will include restoring the Coffee Shop – which will be welcome news for many travelers.  Restoration of the lodging is also in the plans as well.

The new Doughton Park Visitor Center is located just 22 miles from the now-closed visitor center at Cumberland Knob. Photo from 2010.

The new stamp for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail located at the C&O Canal National Historical Park in Hagerstown, Maryland is simply an updated replacement for previous stamps at this location.  Although the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail runs along the entire length of the C&O Canal towpath, the park Headquarters Building is located in Hagerstown proper, so Passport enthusiasts will have to make a brief detour from the Trail to get this cancellation.

Similarly, the new addition for San Juan Island National Historical Park is for the Park Headquarters in the resort town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.  Visitors to the Park can also collect cancellations at the American Camp and the English Camp on either end of the island.   The American Camp marks where US soldiers established themselves in 1859 and began a face-off with a British warship, as a dispute about a pig uprooting a garden nearly escalated a simple border dispute into an international war. The English Camp marks where British soldiers landed and encamped in 1860 as part of a temporary settlement for “joint occupation” of the island until a permanent settlement could be reached – something that would not occur until nearly a decade later, when arbitrators appointed by the German kaiser awarded San Juan Island to the United States.

The Mormon Handcart Historical Site in Martin’s Cove, Wyoming has two new cancellations this month.     Photo Mplark (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Mormon Handcart Site in Martin’s Cove, WY is operated by the Church of Latter-day Saints.  It marks the site where a party of Mormon emigrants pulling hand carts  and departing late in the season in 1859 became stranded for several days due to an early blizzard.  The site provides interpretation of the events at the site, as well as the rigors of pulling hand carts on the migration west.  The site previously has had cancellations for the Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express National Historic Trails.   The route used by the Mormon emigrants was the same route also used by settlers and gold rushers travelling on the Oregon and California National Historic Trails, respectively.  So this site now has a full compliment of four cancellations for the four Emigrant Trails across the west.

The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail does get one new cancellation this month, this one for the starting point of the trail in Nauvoo, Illinois.  This new stamp is located at the Historic Nauvoo Visitor Center, which is also operated by the LDS Church.   This new stamp is somewhat paired with the new stamp for Nauvoo, Illinois under the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area that was released in January 2017. That stamp has been located at the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, which preserves a historic home of the man who was the founder of the LDS Church and also the former mayor of Nauvoo for two years up until his murder by an angry mob in nearby Carthage, Illinois in 1844.  The Joseph Smith Historic Site is operated by the Community of Christ, which was formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and which split from the larger LDS Church in 1860.  The Nauvoo Historic District represented by this month’s new cancellation  includes many other historic structures in Nauvoo, including the former home of Brigham Young who was the second President of the LDS Church, and who led the journey west to Utah.

The New Mexico Public Lands Information Center, operated by the Bureau of Land Management in Santa Fe, New Mexico has already had cancellations for the  Old Spanish, Santa Fe, and El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trails.   The new stamps for the last two trails are simply subbing out previous stamps that read “Santa Fe, NM” on the bottom with stamps that now read “NM Public Lands Info Ctr.” on the bottom.  The Old Spanish Trail had actually made a similar switch back in 2012.  Interestingly, I can’t help but note that the street address for the New Mexico Public Lands Information Center is 301 Dinosaur Trail in Santa Fe!

The Roving Ranger Program at Golden Gate National Recreation Area helps connect people in the Bay Area to extraordinary locations like this one. Photo from 2015.

The new stamp for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail will presumably be included as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area‘s Roving Ranger program.  The Roving Ranger truck takes the National Park Service’s outreach out into the communities of the San Francisco Bay Area to promote the National Park Service location that is right in their own backyard.   Meanwhile, the new stamp for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail simply reflects the move of the Trail’s headquarters offices from Little Rock, Arkansas to Webbers Falls, Oklahoma.

The new stamp for the Old Spanish National Historic Trail is actually the third iteration of a stamp at the historic Kelso Depot in Mojave National Preserve.  Previous iterations read “Kelso, CA” and “Mojave National Preserve, CA” on the bottom.

The Great Falls of the Potomac are one of several locations with a new Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT stamp this month.

Finally, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail continues its rapid expansion of Passport cancellations this month.   The six new additions this month give it a grand total of 41 Passport cancellations.  That total is good for 5th place in the National Park System, behind only the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area with a whopping 71, the Old Spanish National Historic Trail with 50, the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail with 47, and the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail with 44.   Each of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake cancellation locations appears to come with a wayside exhibit, providing interpretive about John Smith’s voyages of exploration from the Jamestowne Colony up through the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in the early 1600’s.

The two new locations in Virginia include the Rappahannock River National Wildlife Refuge near Warsaw, Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay community of Gloucester on Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, between the Rappahannock and York Rivers.   In 2003, archeologists working near Gloucester discovered the site of Werowocomoco, which was the capital of the Powhatan Confederacy of some thirty Indian tribes in the area, and which traded and interacted with Captain John Smith and the Jamestowne Colony.

In Maryland, the new locations include Great Falls Park, which is managed by the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  The Great Falls of the Potomac River formed a natural barrier to Captain John Smith’s upstream explorations of the Potomac River.   Other locations include Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, Maryland and the Sultana Education Foundation in Chestertown, Maryland on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  The Sultana Education Fuondation operates a replica of an 18th Century vessel, the Sultana, that was used for collecting tea taxes in the Chesapeake Bay.  It also conducts a number of environmental education programs for children, and promotes the newly-developed water trail on the Chester River.

The final new stamp will be located at the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where US Route 30 crosses the Susquehanna River.   Captain John Smith never made it this far north on his voyages, as he was stopped by the great falls of the Susquehanna further south in Maryland.  However, the Susquehannock American Indians in this area used the Susquehanna River as part of a trading route network that stretched as far as New York State.  Thus, Congress has included the full length of the Susquehanna River as part of this National Historic Trail, in part for its historic significance to the American Indians, but also to use the National Historic Trail program to spread awareness of the extensive watershed for the Chesapeake Bay.

With this month’s new additions, the total number of active cancellations in the Passport Program is now 1,179.   Happy stamping!

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September 2016 Stamps – Katahdin Woods, State Parks, and Many Trails

The site of Mission Dolores in Texas and associated visitor center is a new State Historic Site and has an updated stamp this month on the El Camino Real de Tejas National Historic Trail.

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
      • Escalante, 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

North Country National Scenic Trail |

      • Douglas County, WI
      • Fergus Falls, MN
      • Itasca State Park, MN

The headline of course, is President Obama’s 100th birthday present to the National Park Service – the addition of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine.  Although this park is not as expansive as earlier proposals for a comprehensive Maine North Woods National Park, it is still a landmark addition to the National Park System.  Since Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in central Kansas was added to the National Park System in 1996, there have been only a handful of new parks added primarily for their value as natural landscapes.  Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument was added in 1991, but it was really just a boundary expansion of Virgin Islands National Park, just as Castle Mountains National Monument was really just a boundary expansion for Mojave National Preserve.  A few other new parks have included small landscape parcels as part of a larger history-themed park, but really the only other truly new landscape-focused park in the last 20 years has been Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico.

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 is expanding its Passport locations to include its partner State Parks. Photo from 2002.

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.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is only accessible by boat, deep inside Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  These stamps, as well as the new stamp for the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, will go to the various visitors centers for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the adjacent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which provide information on visiting the area.

 

Rainbow Bridge National Monument preserves this natural arch. Photo from National Park Service

The stamps for the Oregon National Historic Trail and the California National Historic Trail will go to the Shawnee Mission State Historic State in Fairway, Kansas.   The Shawnee were relocated out of Ohio to an area just west of what is now Kansas City in 1825.   Methodist missionaries operated the mission from the 1830’s until the time of the Civil War.

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.

The new stamp for the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail is a replacement stamp, reflecting the redesignation of the former Mission Dolores Travel Information Center just south of San Augustine, Texas to an official State Historic Site.

The new Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail stamp will be at St. Clements Island State Park.  St. Clements Island is only accessible by bout tours during the summer months.   This new stamp continues the evolution of the Potomac Heritage Trail cancellation locations from representing a linear long-distance trail to more of a partnership program, similar to a National Heritage Area.

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.

Follow these signs to adventure along the North Country National Scenic Trail.  Photo from 2006.
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August Stamps from Alaska to the Chesapeake Bay

Denali National Park & Preserve has one new stamp this month.  Photo from 2008.
Denali National Park & Preserve has one new stamp among the huge stack of new stamps  this month. Photo from 2008.

 

There is a huge stack of new stamps this month.

    First the stamps for actual units of the National Park System:

      • Waco Mammoth National Monument | Waco, TX
      • Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area | LIttle Brewster Island
      • Olympic National Park – Sol Duc Hot Springs
      • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore | N. Manitou Island
    Next are a number of stamps for Trails and Heritage Areas:

      • Juan Bautista de Anza NHT | Big Break
      • Juan Bautista de Anza NHT | Ford Ord NM
      • Juan Bautista de Anza NHT | Monterrey, CA
      • Trail of Tears NHT | Historic Blythe Ferry
          Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT |

            • Belle Isle State Park
            • Caledon State Park
            • Chippokes Plantation State Park
            • First Landing State Park
            • Kiptopeke State Park
            • Leesylvania State Park
            • Mason Neck State Park
            • Chickahominy Riverfront Park
            • Henricus Historical Park
            • James City County, VA
            • Mathews, VA
            • Reedville, VA
            • Vienna,  MD
          Champlain Valley National Heritage Parntership |

            • American Museum of Fly Fishing
            • ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
            • Green Mountain National Forest
            • Saratoga National Historical Park
    Then there a group of stamps all issued for the same location:

      • Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network | Port Tobacco, MD
      • Potomac Heritage NST | Port Tobacoo, MD
      • Star-Spangled Banner NHT | Port Tobacoo, MD
      • Underground Railroad Freedom Network | Port Tobacco, MD
      • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route NHT | Port Tobacco, MD
    Finally, there are a few other new stamps to repot:

      • Nine new stamps (one for each region) for National Park Travelers Club Member Meet-Ups
      • Denali Park Kennels | Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Waco Mammoth National Monument is the newest unit of the National Park System. Photo Credit: E. Wilson
Waco Mammoth National Monument is the newest unit of the National Park System. Photo Credit: E. Wilson

Waco Mammoth National Monument is the newest unit of the U.S. National Park System – so this is its first stamp.  You can read more about it in the Parkasaurus Post on it.

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area preserves almost all of the off-shore islands in Boston Harbor, including a few that are now connected to the mainland.   The stamp for Little Brewster Island is the fifth active stamp for this park.  It joins a stamp for “Boston, MA” on the mainland at Long Wharf in dowtown Boston, as well as stamps  for Georges Island, Peddocks Island, and Spectacle Island.   The 34 islands that comprise this park include a mix of natural scenery, historic resources related to 19th century harbor defenses, and outstanding recreational opportunities.  Little Brewster Island is the most-distant of the four islands with stamps, located some 8 miles from downtown Boston.

(As a side note, it should be noted that Boston Harbor Islands NRA previously had a stamp for the Gateway Pavillion information center in downtown Boston, but that stamp has not been available since 2013.   Meanwhile, according to the Park map there are Ranger Stations on at least four other islands, so this park may yet add additional stamps in the months and years to come.)

The Sol Duc Falls are among the scenic highlights near the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort in Olympic National Park.  Photo from 2003.
The Sol Duc Falls are among the scenic highlights near the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort in Olympic National Park. Photo from 2003.

Olympic National Park is one of the true gems of the U.S. National Park System, located on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula.   This stamp for the concessionarie at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is one of 14 cancellations available around this large national park.  The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is located in the temperate forests on the northern side of the park in the valley of the Sol Duc River.

The new stamps for North Manitou Island at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore makes for five cancellations at this national park located on the shores of Lake Michigan in the western part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.  Three of those stamps are on the mainland, and now there is a stamp for both South Manitou Island and North Manitou Island located off-shore in Lake Michigan.

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail connects sites in Arizona and California along the route taken by de Anza in 1776 to establish the settlement of San Francisco.   Fort Ord National Monument was established by President Obama in 2012 on the former site of the military base of the same name on Monterey Bay.   Thus, this month marks the first two stamps in the Passport Program to be located in the world-famous scenic destination of Monterey, California.   The Big Break Regional Park preserves some of the land on the San Joaquin River Delta at the base of San Francisco Bay.

This month’stamp for the Historic Blythe Ferry is actually the third stamp for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail to be located at Tennessee’s Cherokee Removal Park.  It joins the existing stamps for Meigs County, TN and the stamp added last month for Cherokee Removal MEM Park. TN.

 

Caledon State Park in Virginia is among the many Virginia State Parks receiving a new stamp for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake Naitonal HIstoric Trail this month.  Photo from 2012.
Caledon State Park in Virginia is among the many Virginia State Parks receiving a new stamp for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake Naitonal HIstoric Trail this month. Photo from 2012.

 

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail marks Smith’s voyages of exploration in the Chesapeake Bay from 1607-1609.   This month, stamps appear to have been added for just about every Virginia State Park located on the Chesapeake Bay.  In addition, Chickahominy Riverfront Park is a local park located in James City County, Virginia.  Henricus Historical Park commemorates a famous #2 – it recreates the second successful English settlement in the New World.  It was established 80 miles up the James River in 1611 by settlers departing from Jamestown.    Mathews County Virginia has a Visitor and Information Center for its network of water trails to explore.  Reedville, Virginia is located at the end of Virginia’s Northern Neck, on the Chesapeake Bay.  Its Fisherman’s Museum is also a stamping location for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.    Vienna, Maryland is the launching point for the Nanticoke River Water Trail, which runs along the Nanticoke River all the way into southern Delaware.

The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership is a National Heritage Area program for the area around Lake Champlain on the New York – Vermont border, as well as areas to the south around the Champlain Canal and Lake George.  These four additional stamps give it a total of nine passport locations.  Of these four, only the ECHO Leahy Center at the ECHO Lake Aquarium in Burlington, Vermont is located on Lake Champlain itself.   The Green Mountain National Forest is headquartered in Rutland, Vermont to the south, and the American Museum of Fly Fishing is even further south in Manchester, Vermont.  Saratoga National Historical Park is an actual outright national park, and commemorates the decisive American victory that was the turning point of the American Revolutionary War.  Through a quirk of overlapping designations, Saratoga NHP is actually part of three National Heritage Areas, as it is also included in the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Thomas Stone National Historic Site in Maryland has expanded its stamp offerings this month!

The Thomas Stone National Historic Site is also an outright national park, located in the small town of Port Tobacco in southern Maryland.   It preserves the home of one of Maryland’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.  It probably would not have made it in to the National Park System on its own, but for the fact that the house was damaged by fire in 1977, and designation as a national park site the next year was about the only way to save it from the wrecking ball.  The new stamps for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail both replace existing stamps that were already at the site, reflecing both the site’s scenic location on the Potomac River and on the route of the British invasion of Maryland during the War of 1812.   This site also had a generic stamp listing all the states of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, but this its first stamp specific to the site itself.  This trail marks the route of American General George Washington and the French General Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia at the end of the Revolutionary War. The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and the Underground Railroad: Network to Freedom are two National Park Service partnership programs, reflecting this park’s location on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and as a former plantation were slaves lived, worked, and occasionally, escaped to freedom.

The National Park Travelers Club is a social Club that provides networking for Passport stamp collectors.  They now have nine passport stamps that will be available at their member-meetups, one stamp for each Passport region.

Visit the Denali National Park & Preserve kennels and you could see a sled dog like Annie!  Photo from NPS.gov.
Visit the Denali National Park & Preserve kennels and you could see a sled dog like Annie! Photo from NPS.gov.

Finally, Denali National Park & Preserve is the only national park that is patrolled by dogsled in the winter.  In the summer, the dogsled kennels are open for tours and demonstrations.  The National Park Service has a web page devoted to the kennels, including photos and bios of each of the sled dogs.   A visit to the kennels here is truly a unique national parks experience!   The addition of this stamp gives Denali National Park & Preserve a total of eight passport cancellations.

With this month’s numerous additions there are now 1,948 active Passport cancellations, or 1,851 excluding anniversary and special event cancellations.

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Valley of the Hohokam Part II – Hohokam Pima National Monument

The Huhugam Heritage Center is operated by the Gila River Indian Community.
The Huhugam Heritage Center is operated by the Gila River Indian Community.

In Part I of my Valley of the Hohokam Trip Report, I described how the National Park Service is responsible for two national monuments in southern Arizona.   The first visit was to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, which is famous for its Great House.   The Great House has been a landmark for visitors to central Arizona since the earliest Spanish contacts.  The Juan Bautista de Anza expedition to San Francisco passed through this area in 1775, and de Anza himself took a side trip to visit the Casa Grande.  His trip was a follow-up to the reports of Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kindo, who noted the Casa Grande in an expedition to the area all the way back in 1694.

(As an interesting side note, six years after visiting Casa Grande, Father Kino would found the mission Church of San Jose de Tumacacori south of present-day Tucson, Arizona, and which today is preserved by the National Park Service as Tumacacori National Historical Park. )

If we imagine taking a virtual time machine backwards from the days of Father Kino in 1694, we know that the Great House at Casa Grande Ruins was built in the early 1300’s, and was used for a period of 50-75 years.  By the year 1450, the distinctive cultural identifiers of the people who lived at Casa Grande Ruins, such as pottery patterns and the settlement pattern around irrigation canals, no longer appear in the archeological record.   Thus, archeologists date the end of the “Hohokam culture” to that date.

Going back even earlier, we know that sometime in the 900’s, the structure referred to as a ball court  was built at Casa Grande Ruins.   There is some debate as to whether this ball court was used for the ball game that was played a thousand miles to the south, in southern Mexico, or was actually used for ceremonial dances.    The first permanent settlement at what we now call Casa Grande Ruins probably dates from around this time, or a little before.

Our time machine would have to go back much further to reach the origins of Hohokam Pima National Monument, however, which is located about 25 miles to the north and west of Casa Grande Ruins.   This national monument preserves a site that archeologists call Snaketown.  That site dates back as far as 300 B.C., and it is likely that it was inhabitated continuously through the year 1200.   That would have been long enough for many of the inhabitants of Snaketown to have been contemporaries with the first permanent settlements at Casa Grande Ruins.   Although the people who lived at Snaketown would not have seen the construction of the Great House, maybe its possible that they would have attended games or dances at the ball court there.

Fast forward to the present-day, however, and almost everything about Hohokam Pima National Monument is an anomaly – starting with its name.  As mention in my last post, the word Hohokam comes from a mistransliteration of the word Huhugam from the language of the O’odhom people; Huhugam can probably best be translated as “our ancestors who have perished.”  The word Pima, ironcially appears to be an even worse linguistic crime by the first Spanish-speakers to encounter the O’odhom people, as it appears to have originated from the O’odhom phrase for “I don’t know.”  As we might imagine, the phrase “I don’t know” was surely used a lot during the first contact between two peoples from opposite sides of the world. Nevertheless, when this national monument was established by Congres in 1972, this is the name that was chosen.  I would imagine that if this site were being designated for protection today, its likely that another name would have been selected instead – perhaps something along the lines of Huhugam O’odham National Monument.

An example of how the Great House is being held together.
Exposure to the elements can damage archeological ruins, this picture shows some of the efforts that the National Park Service has taken to protect and stabilize the Great House at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

This monument is also unique because the decision has been made to rebury the excavated ruins of Snaketown.   By itself, this decision is not that unusual.  Exposure to the elements is typically not going for archeological resources, which is why a protective shelter was built for the Great House at nearby Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.   Thus, archeologists frequently make the decision to rebury resources in order to preserve them for a future generation of archeologists, who may have investigative techniques that we can’t even imagine yet.   Additionally, this site is located entirely on land owned by the Gila River Indian Community of the O’odham people, who consider the site to be the sacred land of the ancestors.  I would imagine there is also some resentment of the Federal government asserting some control over this site as well.

In any event, what is unusual is that these ruins were reburied in a National Park site that is dedicated to preserving them.  A major reason for that is surely the simple fact that in 1972, when Congress established this national monument, all national monuments were turned over to the National Park Service for management.   It wasn’t until 1978 when Admiralty Island National Monument and Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska were established on US Forest Service Lands, and left under the US Forest Service for management, that national monuments would be managed by an agency other than the National Park Service.   Were this site to be established today, I would also imagine that it would possibly be given to another Federal agency to manage, or else would simply be designated as an extension of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, and so not given status as its own national park.

Although Hohokam Pima National Monument is closed to the public - you can see the landscape of the national monument from the observation deck of the Huhugam Heritage Center.
Although Hohokam Pima National Monument is closed to the public – you can see the landscape of the national monument from the observation deck of the Huhugam Heritage Center.  As you can see there’s not a lot to visit.

Nevertheless, Hohokam Pima National Monument poses a dilmma for anyone trying to visit all of the national parks in the U.S. National Park System, as it remains the only national park site that is closed the public – with no plans to ever open it to visitation.   So not only is there nothing to see there, as the archeological ruins have been completely and thoroughly reburied, but attempting to visit Hohokam Pima National Monument directly is also trespassing.   Yes, as it turns out, Interstate 10 technically takes you through the boundaries of this national monument right around mile 170 (and where Goodyear Road crosses the Interstate) – but most people would hardly consider that to be a meaningful visit (and stopping on the side of the road of the Interstate would not only also be illegal, but also not safe).

Nevertheless, to the extent that anyone would want to “count a visit” to a national park that is closed to the public, a visit the Gila River Indian Community’s Huhugam Heritage Center arguably checks all the boxes.  The Huhugam Heritage Center has no affiliation with the National Park Service, so there’s no passport stamp or any of the other usual accountrements of a national park visitor center, but it actually fulfills most everything else that anyone would want out of a visit.

The highlight of the Huhugam Heritage Center is that the University of Arizona returned much of it Snaketown collection to the Gila River Indian Community a few years ago, and some of the most-spectactular artifiacts from that collection are now on display in the Huhugam Heritage Center.  Included in the display are a number of very-large and perfectly-intact pots and jars that were excavataed at Snaketown.  Seeing these artifacts in-person really gives a sense for the impressive accomplishments of these people.  Unfortunately, the Center does not permit photography of the exhibit, and the Center does not have photographs online.  The best photo I could find online of the pottery is included in this nice interactive multimedia program on Snaketown that was produced by the East Valley Tribune.  Click on the link for “Crafts and Trade” in the presentaiton to see an example of the type of pottery on display.  You can also find five photos of pottery excavated at Snaketown at this site from the Arizona State Museum.

The Huhugam Heritage Center also includes a central plaza modeled after the "ball courts" found at Snaketown and Casa Grande Ruins. Tribal tradition, however, holds that these plazas were used for ceremonial dances rather than athletic competitions.
The Huhugam Heritage Center also includes a central plaza modeled after a “ball court.”

Additionally, on the roof of the Huhugam Heritage Center is an observation deck.  From this deck, it is quite possible to view and appreciate the desert landscape where the ruins of Snaketown are now reburied, and where the people who built Snaketown once had a thriving community more tha 700 years ago.   The Center also includes a central plaza modeled after the ball courts found at Snaketown and Casa Grande Ruins.

Overall, a visit the Huhugam Heritage Center is fairly satifying for anyone interested in visiting the national parks.  The artifacts on display in the Center have plenty of “wow” factor to illustrate why Snaketown is so archeologically significant.  Moreover, the exhibits also connect the people who first made the desert bloom with their crops to the people of Gila River Indian Community who are still living there today.   And you can get a good view of what the landscape looks like today.

If you do plan to visit, be sure to call ahead for the latest hours.  As of this writing,their hours are Wednesday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.  they currently have special extended hours on the first Friday of the month when they have a special heritage market.   Our schedule did not align with the heritage market on our visit, but that would surely make for an interesting enhancement to any visit.

Taken together, both Hohokam Pima National Monument and Casa Grande Ruins National Monument remind us that we are not the first people to settle in the valleys of the Gila and Salt Rivers in Central Arizona.

Check out Part I of my trip report on “Valley of the Hohokam” from Casa Grande Ruins National Monument here.

IMG_1560
An example of an interpretive display at the Huhugam Heritage Center on the rooftop observation deck.  The picture at lower left is of the original shelter at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument; the illustration at upper right also depicts Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (with the modern shelter).

Update: This post originally stated that Hohokam Pima National Monument was located along Interstate 5.  It is, of course, located, along Interstate 10 and has been corrected.

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February 2015 Stamps: Roebling Bridge & Many More

The Roebling Bridge is an engineering marvel that is now preserved as part of the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recretarional River.
The Roebling Bridge is an engineering marvel that is now preserved as part of the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recretarional River.  Picture from 2006.

Eastern national has released its list of new Passport Stamps for the much of February, and the list includes a sizable 17 stamps, 14 of which are truly brand “new.”  Of the remaining 14, three are annivesary stamps, four others are for Trails and Heritage Areas, and the remaining seven are for new areas in national parks.

Headlining the list is a new stamp for the Roebling Bridge in the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River.   Although  most people think of river-based national parks as being primarily about rafting, canoeing, and kayaking, the Upper Delaware SRR also includes notable historic sites like the home of author Zane Grey and the nearby Roebling Bride.  The Roebling Bridge is a true engineering landmark, constructed by the same John Roebling that would later go on to construct the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

Although in the modern day we are used to bridges that carry land vehicles over water, back in the heyday of canals, bridges were also used to carry water vehicles over water.  In the picture above, you can see that the modern-day roadbed was once used by canal boats crossing over the Delaware River, and the rebuilt wooden towpath can now be used by pedestrians.   Also rebuilt are the icebreakers at the base of the bridge:

 

The base of the Roebling Bridge contains icebreakers.   Picture from 2006.
The Roebling Bridge was built to carry canal boats over the Delaware River, which was often full of lumber being floated downstream.  The base of the Roebling Bridge contains icebreakers to protect the bridge in winter months. Picture from 2006.

The stamp for the Roebling Bridge gives the Upper Delaware SRR a total of three cancellations:  Beach Lake – where the park headquarters is; The Zane Grey Museum – in Lackawaxen, PA: and the Roebling Bridge – also in Lackawaxen.

Other new stamps this month include a new stamp for Hatteras Island at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.  This will likely replace the existing stamp for Buxton, NC at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center, next to the iconic Cape Hattereas Lighthouse.  It remains to be seen if this will be a net new stamp for this park, or if it will join the existing stamps for Manteo (park headquarters), Bodie Island, and Ocracoke Island for a total of four.  A few years ago, there was also a fifth cancellation for the town of Nags Head, NC, but that stamp has since been lost or retired.

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site's preserved nuclear missile silo is one of the highlights of a visit to the park.  Phot Credit: National Park Service
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site’s preserved nuclear missile silo is one of the highlights of a visit to the park. Phot Credit: National Park Service

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota has added two cancellations this month.   This relatively new national park is the first dedicated to telling the story of the Cold War in the United States.   The first new stamp is simply labeled “Visitor Center,” and will no doubt be found at the brand new park visitor center that had a soft opening in November 2014.   If you are planning a trip to this park, you may want to plan a trip for September 26, 2015 and the official grand opening and dedication of this park’s first visitor center.  Up to this point, the Ranger Contact Station for the park had a stamp simply labeled “South Dakota,” which may now be replaced with the opening of the visitor center.

The other new stamp is for Launch Control Facility Delta-01.   This facility is only open during ranger-guided tours, so be sure to plan ahead!  This cancellation joins the existing stamp for Launch Facility Delta-09, which is the park’s missile silo, and the other major site within the park.

Magnolia Plantation in Bermuda, Louisiana is one of two plantations preserve at Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Oakland Plantation outside of Natchitoches, Louisiana is one of two plantations preserve at Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

Cane River Creole National Historical Park preserves two plantations in northwest Louisiana.  Officially, this park lists one new stamp, for Derry, LA – the site of Magnolia Plantation.  For many years, the Park has had a single cancellation available at both plantation sites, reading “Natchez, LA” on the bottom.  Natchez is the location of Oakland Plantation, which is the site with more-developed visitor facilities, including the only one of the two plantation sites that also offers house tours.  At one point in time, there was a cancellation for Bermuda, LA available at the Oakland Plantation, but it was lost or retired several years ago.  The issuance of a unique stamp for Magnolia Plantation thus gives this park a total of two cancellations.

Among the changes to the National Park System in the Defense Authorization Act for 2015 was a provision renaming First State National Monument to First State National Historical Park, and expanding it to include several additional sites.   This month, stamps with the new park name have been reissued for the existing sites at Dover Green in Dover, DE; New Castle Courthouse in New Castle, DE; and the Woodlawn Preserve in Wilmington, DE.  Additionally, stamps were ordered for two additional sites that are imminently to be added to this park: one for Kent County, DE to be at the Dickinson Plantation site, and another for Lewes, DE to be at the Ryves-Holt House.  John Dickinson was a signer of the US Constitution, and the Ryves-Holt House is reportedly the oldest house in the State of Delaware – so neither of these two new sites seem likely to get the blood racing.

In addition to all of the above stamps, there are three new anniversary stamps issued:

  • Chalmette Battlefield (part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve) | 200th Anniversary 1815-2015 – for the 200th anniversary of the famous Battle of New Orleans that ended the War of 1812 and propelled Andrew Jackson to the Presidency.
  • Fire Island National Seashore | 50th Anniversary 1964-2014 – a stamp that seems a little late to the anniversary stamp party, but nonetheless commemorates 50 years of protecting beaches on the south shore of Long Island.
  • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument | 50th Anniversary 1965-2015 – a stamp that marks 50 years of protecting fossil mammals from approximately 20 million years ago in western Nebraska.

I posted last month my thoughts on the recent trend for anniversary stamps, so I won’t go into that topic again.

Finally, there are a few new stamps for Heritage Areas and Trails:

  • the Essex National Heritage Area in northeastern Massachussetts has a new stamp for the town of Beverly, MA.
  • the Coal National Heritage Area in southern West Virginia has a new stamp for the New River Gorge National River‘s Sandstone Visitor Center.
  • the Juan Bautista de Anza National HIstorical Trail marks the route of Juan Bautista de Anza’s 1776 expedition with more than 200 men, women, and children from Mexico to establish a new settlement at San Francisco Bay.   The first new stamp is for Atascadero, California in San Luis Obispo County where the Atascadero Mutual Water Company manges a stretch of the trail suitable for hiking.
  • The second Juan Bautista de Anza stamp is for Hacienda de la Canoa in Green Valley, Arizona.  This historic site has a new exhibit on the de Anza expedition.

With all of these new additions, we now estimate that there are 1,968 cancellations out there to explore.   Closing in on 2,000!

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