Tag Archives: Lewis and Clark NHT

November & December 2017 – Jefferson Patterson Park & More

A reconstructed Patuxent Indian wigwam at Jefferson Patterson Park, which has several new stamps this month. Photo from 2017.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network | Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail | Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum

Underground Railroad Freedom Network | Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument |

  • Mimbres, NM
  • Trailhead Museum

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail | National Frontier Trails Museum, MO

Schuykill River Valley National Heritage Area |

  • Southeastern PA
  • Pottstown, PA
A signpost at Jefferson Patterson Park highlights its affiliations with the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Photo from 2017.

The list of new stamps was fairly short over these two months,  so I’m combining November and December for 2017 together into a single post.

Three new stamps were issued for the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in southern Maryland, which previously has had a Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail stamp since September 2015.  Jefferson Patterson Park preserves the Point Farm Estate, which was donated the state of Maryland by philanthropist Mary Marvin Breckenridge Patterson in 1983.  She made the donation in honor of her late husband, Jefferson Patterson, a former U.S. ambassador to Uruguay, and the son of the founder of the National Cash Register company.

One of the highlights of Jefferson Patterson Park is a reconstruction of an Indian Village on the property, of the sort that might have been encountered by John Smith on one of his  voyages of exploration up the Chesapeake Bay in 1609.   The park is also the site of the 1813 naval engagement known as the Battle of St. Leonard’s Creek, which was fought in the Patuxent River  directly offshore the property.  In addition to visitor services, the park is the site of ongoing archaeological research, and has exhibits related to the science of archaeology.  This month’s additions give this park a total of four cancellation stamps.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument has updated its passport cancellations this month. Photo Credit: National Park Service

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico is one of the most-remote national parks in the contiguous United States, located some 100 miles from the nearest national parks and some 35 miles from the nearest town.  The first new stamp simply reflects a change in the main post office servicing the park, which formerly was Silver City, New Mexico, but now is Mimbres, New Mexico.   The Cliff Dwellings themselves were built around the year 1275 and are located at more than a mile above sea level.  To reach them, visitors have to drive about two miles from the Visitor Center to the trailhead, and then hike a one mile loop trail.  The second stamp is the first one to be located at the National Park Service’s trailhead contact station.

The National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence, Missouri is affiliated with five different National Historic Trails. Photo from 2016.

The National Frontier Trails Museum is located in Independence, Missouri, and is the legendary starting point of the Oregon National Historic Trail.  The museum also contains exhibits interpreting the California National Historic Trail, Mormon Pioneer National Historic TrailSanta Fe National Historic Trail, and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.  The new stamp for the Lewis and Clark Trail appears to be a replacement for an earlier stamp reading “Independence, Missouri” on it.

Finally, the Schuykill River Valley National Heritage Area includes a corridor from where the Schuykill River meets the Delaware River in Philadelphia out to Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  The two stamps this month are replacements for previously existing stamps, and reflect a change in branding for the partner association that manages the Heritage Area.  The association has rebranded itself as Schuylkill River Greenways, Inc. and the new stamps read Schuylkill River Greenways NHA on top – although the legal name of the Heritage Area, Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area, remains the same.   Both of these stamps are located at the Heritage Area’s Headquarters Offices in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  This Heritage Area has three other cancellations, located at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Valley Forge National Historical Park, and Independence National Historical Park; all of which retain stamps with the original branding.

Final Shot: Another one of the reconstructed American Indian wigwams at Jefferson Patterson Park. Photo from 2017.
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October 2017 – Motorcities NHA Reboots Its Passport Program & More!

The Navajo Bridge in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one of the new cancellations this month. Photo Credit: Mark Averitt – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51725523

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area |

  • Marble Canyon
  • Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon

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.
  • Nankin Mills
  • 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
The spectacular Hubbard Glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve has an updated cancellation stamp this month. Photo Credit: Aaron Logan from Sunnyvale, CA, USA – Hubbard Glacier, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3653937

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 Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is located in historic Nelson Hall on Northwestern State University in Louisiana and gets its first passport cancellation this month. Photo Credit: Fitzed – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9445668

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.

The Intermodal Tourist Center in Picayune, Mississippi also serves as the Lower Pearl River Valley Museum.   This location is so named because it also serves passengers riding the Amtrak Crescent Train, which runs from New York to Atlanta and New Orleans.  This new stamp brings the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area up to 41 cancellations.  Parkasaurus discussed this heritage area extensively in our July 2017 post.

The MotoCities National Heritage Area re-launched its passport program this month. Photo from 2006.

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.

The ten remaining cancellation sites tell the broader story of the history of eastern Michigan, including the automotive history.  Historic Fort Wayne is a reconstruction of the War of 1812-era fort that predated the city of Detroit.  The Walker Tavern Historic Site in Brooklyn, Michigan preserves an early stage coach stop. The Saline Depot Museum preserves a historic railroad depot in Saline, Michigan.  The Northville Mill Race Village has a collection of historic buildings moved to the site. The Michigan Military Technical and Historical Society is a military museum located in the inner-suburb of Eastpointe, Michigan. The Plymouth Historical Museum is dedicated to the history of the town, and the automotive brand, of the same name.   Meadow Brook Hall in Auburn Hills was the mansion of the heiress to the Dodge Automotive brand. The Detroit Historical Museum is the centerpiece historical museum, and the Detroit Institute of Arts is the main art museum, for one of America’s largest metro areas.  Finally, the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing is the main history museum for the state of Michigan.

Final Shot: Meadow Brook Hall, the estate of the heiress to the Dodge automotive fortune, is one of the many cancellation locations in the Motorcities National Heritage Area. Photo Credit: Kelocyde [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
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April 2017 New Stamps from Puerto Rico to the Arctic Circle and Places In-Between

San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico has one brand-new stamp this month and one replacement stamp.

Here are the new stamps for the month of April:

Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument | Birmingham, AL

Freedom Riders National Monument | Anniston, AL

Reconstruction Era National Monument | Beaufort, SC

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park | Auburn, NY

Antietam National Battlefield | Pry House Field Hospital Museum

Noatak National Preserve | Bettles, AK

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park | Outdoor Recreation Information Center

Gulf Islands National Seashore |

      • Advanced Redoubt
      • Okaloosa Area

San Juan National Historic Site |

      • Castillo San Felipe del Morro
      • San Antonio Guardhouse, El Morro

Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area |

      • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
      • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
      • Lincoln Depot
      • Lincoln Law Office
      • Lincoln Tomb
      • Old State Capitol
      • Springfield, IL
      • Carthage, IL
      • Clinton, IL
      • Homer, IL
      • Mahomet, IL
      • Quincy, IL
      • Vandalia, IL
The Pry House at Antietam National Battlefield has an updated cancellation this month. Photo credit: National Park Service

Most notable this month are stamps for four new additions to the National Park System, which recently brought the total number of Nationa Park Units up to a total of 417.  Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument, and Reconstruction Era National Monument were all added in January by way of declarations made by President Obama under the Antiquities Act.  Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Upstate New York (not to be confused with Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in southern Maryland)  was added following land acquisition that was authorized the 2015 Defense Authorization Act.  I recently wrote about the important history behind the first two civil rights-related national monuments.  Reconstruction Era National Monument preserves four properties associated the building of post-slavery lives for African-Americans in the South.  Union forces captured the area around Beaufort, South Carolina in 1861, in the early days of the Civil War, so in many respects, this part of South Carolina is where the Reconstruction Era began.  Some of the places in the new national monument include areas where reconstruction was being implemented, even as the Civil War raged around them.  This includes sites associated with old Camp Sherman, where a regiment of African-American troops for the Union Army was recruited.

The Pry House served as General McClellan’s headquarters at Antietam National Battlefield.  Although it is within the Park boundaries, it is operated in partnership with the National Park Service as an outpost of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and has several exhibits on how medical needs were handled during the battle.  This site previously had an official stamp from 2006 to 2011 – the new stamp replaces an unofficial stamp that the site had been using for the last five years.

The Ranger Station in Bettles, Alaska is one of the most-remote corners of the National Park System. Photo credit: Bruce Johnson, 2007

There are two new additions in the Pacific Northwest this month.  The remote village of Bettles in northern Alaska is most-famously a gateway community for Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve.  A second stamp is added this month at the joint National Park Service – US Fish and Wildlife Service Ranger Station in the village for adventurers taking a longer flight to the remote rivers located in Noatak National Preserve.   In testament to the size of Alaska, Bettles is itself some 600 miles (a 14.5 hour drive according to Google Maps) from Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city.   Even so, it is approximately another 150 miles as the bush plane flies to get to Noatak National Preserve from Bettles, a remote national park with no on-site visitor facilities whatsoever.

In Seattle, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park has added a stamp for the inter-agency information station at the REI Flagship Store in Seattle, which provides information about parks and other public lands throughout western Washington.

Gulf Islands National Seashore has added two stamps for the Florida section of the park.  The Okaloosa Area is the easternmost section of the National Seashore, located just east of the town of Fort Walton Beach, and preserves the beaches on the barrier island.  The Advanced Redoubt is located in the Fort Barrancas Unit of the Park, on the grounds of the Pensacola Naval Air Station.  The Advanced Redoubt and Fort Barrancas were both built in the mid-19th Century to protect the Pensacola Navy Yard.

The San Antonio Guardhouse, located in the foreground (with El Morro in the background) is a new cancellation location this month for San Juan National Historic Site.  Photo from 2011

San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico is comprised of two old Spanish fortifications, the Castillo San Marcos and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.  The latter received a new stamp this month, replacing an older stamp that referred to the location by its nickname, “El Morro.”   There is also a brand new stamp this month for the San Antonio Guardhouse, which is located just outside the fortifications of El Morro. This gives the site three total Passport locations.

Finally, the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area has added to the 15 stamps it introduced in January of this year.  The additions this month include 7 additional Lincoln sites in and around Springfield, Illinois, which join the long-standing cancellation for this Heritage Area at Lincoln Home National Historic Site, which is also in Springfield.

The other additions this month appear to primarily have local connections or secondary interest to the life of Abraham Lincoln.  The two most notable are the additions for Mahomet, Illinois and Vandalia, Illinois. The Museum of the Grand Prairie is operated by Champaign County in Mahomet. Lincoln visited the area in and around Mahomet during his time as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit and the museum includes exhibits on this stage of Lincoln’s life.  The Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site preserves the old state capitol in Vandalia, Illinois where Lincoln worked as a state legislator from his election in 1834 up until the capitol being moved in 1839.  The stamps for Carthage, IllinoisClinton, Illinois; and Quincy, Illinois  are each at local historical society museums.    The stamp for Homer, Illinois is at the local nature center.

Together with the existing stamps for this heritage area, there are now 29 stamps for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area located across central Illinois.  Prior to 2015 there were just 17 on-location* stamps in the entire state of Illinois, including a single stamp for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, one for the Chicago Portage National Historic Site Affiliated Area, two for the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail,  10 for the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, and 3 for the Lincoln Home National Historic Site (including one for the Heritage Area and one for the Underground Railroad Freedom Network, both located at the main visitor center on the site).  2015 brought the addition for three more stamps for the brand-new Pullman National Monument in Chicago.  Now the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area has single-handedly more the doubled the statewide cancellation total for the state of Illinois, with now at least 50 stamps being available in that state. That will be enough to keep Passport enthusiasts from the Midwest busy for quite a while, and is continued testament to how National Heritage Areas have really fueled the growth of the Passport Program in recent years.

The final shot this month is of Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve, on a flight from Bettles to Noatak National Preserve. Photo credit: Bruce Johnson, 2007

* – This count of 17 stamps does not include stamps for the Amtrak Trails and Rails Partnership program, a couple of which pass through the state of Illinois.

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February and March 2017 New Stamps

Antietam National Battlefield is one of the sites with a new cancellation this month. Photo from 2015.

There were only two new stamps in February 2017, so as I get caught up, I’m going to combine them with the much more extensive list for March 2017.

Antietam National Battlefield:
Antietam National Cemetery | 150th Anniversary 1867-2007

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail | VA, TN, NC, SC

Katmai National Park & Preserve | Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

Big Cypress National Preserve | Swamp Welcome Center

Sequoia National Park |

      • Foothills Visitor Center
      • Lodgepole Visitor Center
      • Giant Forest Museum

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park | Church Creek, MD

Civil War Defense of Washington | Fort Stevens

Rock Creek Park:
Rock Creek Nature Center & Planetarium | Washington, DC

MotorCities National Heritage Area | Greenfield Village

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail |

      • Great Falls, MT
      • Travelers Rest
Antietam National Battlefield marks the 150th Anniversary of the dedication of its National Cemetery with a new cancellation this month. Photo credit: National Parks Service, 2013

The one-day battle of Antietam is famously the single-deadliest day in US history.  Total dead, wounded, and missing among both the Union and Confederate forces was nearly 23,000.  Of those, some 3,600 died on the day of the battle, and another 4,000 died of their wounds shortly thereafter or else were confirmed as dead after initially being listed as missing.   These casualties were out of a total US population of 31.4 million in the 1860 Census just before the Civil War.  By comparison,  the current US population of 318 million is some ten times larger, and average daily deaths in the United States are approximately 6,700.

In the immediate aftermath of the battle, many of the casualties were buried in mass graves, or in inadequately shallow graves.  President Andrew Johnson visited Antietam for the dedication of the cemetery on the 5th anniversary of the battle on September 17, 1867.  The cemetery commemorates its 150th Anniversary this year.

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail marks the journey of some several hundred “overmountain men” to confront a force of British-commanded loyalist militia in South Carolina in 1780.  The men gathered at Abingdon, Virginia on September 23, 1780, and a day later at Sycamore Shoals, Tennessee before marching to confront the British-loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7th, 1780.  This new stamp replaces an existing Overmountain Victory Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield.  The Battle of Cowpens was a coda to the Overmountain Campaign, being fought three months later on January 17, 1781.  In this battle, a force of American regular soldiers and militia defeated a force of largely British regulars.  Although a few of the overmountain men also participated in this battle, many had returned home after the Battle of Kings Mountain, and one contingent of them arrived a day after the decisive victory for the Americans.

Although Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska is world-famous for viewing grizzly bears catching salmon near the waterfalls at Brooks Camp, the park was actually originally established in 1918 to protect the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.   The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes was actually created only 6 years earlier during the simultaneous volcanic eruptions of the Mt. Katmai and Novarupta volcanoes.   When explorer Robert Griggs from the National Geographic Society reached the valley in 1916, it was still filled with fumaroles, or openings, in the volcanic ash releasing steam.  Although most of the fumaroles have stopped steaming, the volcanic landscape remains a popular attraction within the park; bus tours are offered regularly from Brooks Camp.

The Foothills Visitor Center for Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers, California is one of several locations with an updated cancellation. Photo credit: Bruce Johnson, 2009

The new stamp for Big Cypress National Preserve reflects the rebranding of the Ochopee Welcome Center, near the town of the same name on the west side of the park, to the Swamp Welcome Center.  Likewise, Sequoia National Park is simply replacing three of its existing stamps from being location-based to structure based.  Thus, the existing stamp for “Three Rivers, CA” is being replaced by one for the “Foothills Visitor Center.”   At Parkasaurus, we always prefer the location-based stamps to the structure-based stamps, so this is a disappointing move.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park is a relatively new addition to the National Park System, and is celebrating the grand opening of its new visitor center in partnership with the Maryland State Park Service.  The new facility is in the hamlet of Church Creek.

The Civil War Defenses of Washington is a partnership program that connects related sites around the greater Washington, DC area that are variously under the jurisdiction of the superintendents of National Capital Parks, Rock Creek Park, or the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  Fort Stevens Park is located just a half mile from Rock Creek Park in the northern portions of the District of Columbia, and so is managed by the Superintendent of Rock Creek Park.  Fort Stevens is notable because during Confederate General Jubal Early’s 1864 raid on Washington, it became the only time in history than an American President came under enemy fire while in his role as Commander-in-Chief.  This stamp will be kept at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, along with the replacement stamp for the Nature Center, which includes the words “and Planetarium” for the first time.

Cotswold Cottage is one of the historic buildings at The Henry Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village.  Photo credit: Michael Barera [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0),  via Wikimedia Commons
The Motorcities National Heritage Area is centered around the history of the automobile industry in southeast Michigan.  Greenfield Village is a living history attraction that is part of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Finally, there are two replacement stamps for locations along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail in Montana.   The Great Falls of the Missouri River were a major obstacle for Lewis & Clark and their Corps of Discovery.  Today, dams and development projects along the Missouri River have deprived the namesake of the town of Great Falls, Montana much of its grandeur, but there is still a good Lewis & Clark interpretive center in town.   Meanwhile,  Traveler’s Rest State Park near Lolo, Montana preserves the only known archeological remains of an actual encampment by the Corps of Discovery.   Lewis and Clark encamped here in September 1805 before embarking on the difficult crossing of the Lolo Pass.  They then camped here a second time in June 1806, before splitting into two separate exploration parties for the return route home.   The two parties would reunite some two and a half months later in North Dakota to take advantage of the swift currents of the Missouri River for the return trip back to civilization.

With these new additions, Parkasaurus calculates that there are now 2,148 active stamp cancellations to collect.  There are 2,039 of these if you exclude special stamps for anniversaries and special events.

The final shot this month is a present-day view of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park & Preserve. Photo credit: National Park Service
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