Jimmy Carter NHS | – Plains High School – Plains, GA – Plains Depot – 1976 Campaign HQ – Boyhood Farm – Archery, GA
Badlands National Park | Ben Reifel VC – Interior, SD
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park | Swains Lock #21 – Travilah, MD
Chickasaw National Recreation Area | Travertine Nature Center 50th Anniversary 1969-2019
Honouliuli National Historic Site | Waipahu, HI
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park | Atlanta, GA
Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve | Illinois Valley Visitor Center
White Sands National Park | Alamogordo, NM
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network | – Columbia Crossing River Trails Center – Sultana Education Foundation – Zimmerman Center for Heritage
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail | Yankton, SD
Stories Behind the Stamps
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site gets three cancellations this month, two of them new. The main visitor center for this park has always been located in the former Plains High School, and this new stamp replaces the existing cancellation for the park. Just around the corner is the Plains Train Depot, which Jimmy Carter used as the headquarters for his 1976 Presidential Campaign. The third location, the farm where Jimmy Carter grew up, is located about three miles outside of town.
The Carter NHS is unusual in that Jimmy Carter himself rather famously still lives in this town. It is hard to overstate just how small the tiny town of Plains really is – but with a population of fewer than 800, it is very, very small. Thus, Jimmy Carter effectively lives in a national park dedicated in his honor. The situation definitely left with me with mixed feelings on my previous visit to this site. On one hand, it would surely be foolish to hold off on the process of protecting historic resources associated with Presidents until those Presidents have passed away. On the other hand, it is surely an odd situation for any human being to live out ones life while surrounded by such a situation.
For many park travelers, one of the highlights of a visit to Jimmy Carter NHS is supplementing the trip with a visit to Maranatha Baptist Church, located just outside of town, where Jimmy Carter himself still regularly teaches Sunday School before Sunday morning worship services. The former President then regularly poses for photographs and selfies with the attendees. Particularly if this aligns with your own faith traditions, attending Sunday School with the honoree of a Unit of the National Park System is certainly a unique opportunity – and an opportunity that will only last for a handful more years, given that Jimmy Carter is 95 years old, albeit a very healthy 95 years old. This month’s new cancellations provide another reason to go and take advantage of that opportunity, should you be interested.
Chicakasaw National Recreation Area can be found in south-central Oklahoma. It preserves a number of natural springs, as well as providing resevoir-based recreation. Their new cancellation this month celebrates the 50th anniversary of their Travertine Nature Center.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail has issued an updated cancellation to be located at the visitor center and headquarters for the Missouri National Recreational River in Yankton, South Dakota. The Missouri National Recreational River preserves two free-flowing segments of the mighty Missouri River amidst a large stretch that has otherwise been heavily dammed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The final three cancellations this month for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network partnership program are for three locations that already had Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail cancellations. The Columbia Crossing Center is located on the Susquehanna River in the town of Columbia, Pennysylvania and the nearby Zimmerman Center for Heritage is located just downstream in the town of Wrightsville. The Sultana Education Center can be found in Chestertown, Maryland on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The Sultana is a replica 18th-century schooner that is just one component of the comprehensive environmental educational programs offered by the namesake foundation.
Yosemite National Park | – Happy Isles Art and Nature Center – Mariposa Grove
Gulf Islands National Seashore | – Rosamond Johnson Beach – Ship Island – William M. Colmer Visitor Center
Kate Mullany National History Site | Troy, NY
California National Historic Trail | National Frontier Trails Museum, MO Oregon National Historic Trail | National Frontier Trails Museum, MO
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail | – Historic Locust Grove, KY – Nebraska City, NE – St. Charles, MO – Steubenville, OH – Trail of Tears State Park, MO
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail | – Natchez Trace PKWY – Meriwether Lewis Site, TN – Natchez Trace PKWY – Mount Locust, TN – Natchez Trace PKWY – Ridgeland, MS – Natchez Trace PKWY – Tupelo, MS – Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga, TN
Stories Behind the Stamps
Leading off this month’s list is a sixth stamp for Channel Islands National Park. Channel Islands National Park consists of five of the eight major islands located off the coast of Los Angeles in Southern California. The park includes all four of the northern islands, as well as small Santa Barbara Island to the south. Santa Rosa is the last of the five islands in the national park to get its own passport cancellation. The sixth cancellation for the Park is located at the mainland visitor center in Ventura, California.
Access to Santa Rosa Island is either by charter flight, or by a 2+hour each way concessionaire boat trip, which according to the Park website currently runs a couple times a week from April through early November. If you are planning your first trip to Channel Islands National Park, you may want to consider a trip to a trip to Anacapa Island or Santa Cruz Island, which are each only about a one hour’s boat ride.
For Yosemite National Park, the Happy Isles Nature Center in Yosemite Valley has been renamed the Happy Isles Art and Nature Center. The new name reflects that the Yosemite Conservancy, which operates the site, offers not just nature programs, but also art programs for kids and adults alike. The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees is located in the southern end of the park. The Mariposa Grove reopened to the public in 2018 after a three year restoration .
Gulf Islands National Seashore has a total of ten cancellations, and all three on this month’s list are replacements for existing cancellations. On the Mississippi side of the park you can visit the William M. Colmer Visitor Center in the town of Ocean Springs, as well as the nearby Davis Bayou picnic area, which has its own cancellation. Ocean Springs is also the departure point for ferries to Ship Island where you can enjoy white sand beaches and explore historic Fort Massachusetts.
Gulf Islands National Seashore is unusual in that it has units in both Mississippi and Florida, but does not have any land in Alabama. Cancellations for Fort Barrancas and the Advanced Redoubt can be found at the Fort Barrancas Visitor Center on the grounds of the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Another cancellation for the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center can be found in the nearby town of Gulf Breeze, Florida, located just across Pensacola Bay from the city of Pensacola itself. Then there are cancellations for the each of the remaining beaches on the Florida barrier islands, including the Santa Rosa Area on Opal Beach, the Fort Pickens Area on Pensacola Beach, and the Rosamond Johnson Beach on Perdido Key.
Kate Mullany National Historic Site in Troy, New York, a suburb of Albany, is one of 23 Affiliated Areas of the U.S. National Park System. Affiliated Areas are recognized by Congress for being nationally-significant, but are not directly managed by the National Park Service. As such, Affiliated Areas don’t count towards the total of 400+ Units of the National Park System (currently 419 as of this writing), but do receive technical assistance from the National Park Service on managing their significant resources – as well as additional recognition.
Kate Mullany immigrated to the United States from Ireland at a young age with the rest of her family. After the death of her father, she took a job in a laundry to support the rest of her family, including her mother, who was in ill health. Conditions in the laundry were difficult, demanding 12+ hour days for only $3 a week in wages. In February of 1864, Kate Mullany successfully organized around 300 laundry workers across several businesses to form the first labor union in the United States primarily for female workers. Shortly after organizing, they launched a six day strike and were successful in winning a 25% pay increase. Her home in Troy, New York was designated a National Historic Site in 2005 and is also home to the American Labor Studies Center. The website for the Center has a great short biography of Kate Mullany that is well worth reading.
Independence, Missouri is famously the traditional starting point of the Oregon Trail, as well as the home of Harry S Truman National Historic Site. The National Frontier Trails Museum is a little gem of a museum that provides exhibits on the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, Santa Fe, and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails – the great trails of western settlement and exploration. The exhibits use excerpts from diary and journal entries to really bring the experience of the journey westward undertaken by these explorers and pioneers to life. The new cancellations for the Oregon and California National Historic Trails replace existing “generic” cancellations that listed all the states for each trail.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail already had a place-specific stamp at the National Frontier Trails Musem. It adds five new cancellations, three of which are related to the recent eastward extension of the trail from St. Louis, Missouri back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The reconstructed 18th-Century Historic Fort Steuben in Steubenville, Ohio is open from May to October. The original fort was already abandoned by the time of the expedition, but Meriwether Lewis passed through the area on his journey eastward to assemble to the Corps of Discovery in St. Charles, Missouri. The Lewis and Clark Boathouse in St. Charles includes a replica keelboat and two replica pirogues, all of which are seaworthy and are occasionally used in reenactments.
The Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska includes a replica of the explorers’ keelboat, as well as a replica Plains Indian earth lodge. Missouri’s Trail of Tears State Park is located near the city of Cape Girardeau, about an hour’s drive north of the confluence between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Meriwether Lewis would have passed by this area on his preparatory journey, and both Lewis and Clark would have passed by here on their return home. Locust Grove in Louisville, Kentucky was the estate of William Clark’s sister and husband. Lewis and Clark stopped here in 1806 and celebrated the return of the expedition with Clark’s family.
Finally, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail adds four locations along the Natchez Trace Parkway this month, including the site where Meriwether Lewis died, most likely by suicide. Mount Locust Plantation, Ridgeland, and Tupelo are all locations of other Visitor Centers along the Parkway. The famous Tennessee Aquarium may seem like an unlikely location for a Trail of Tears passport cancellation, but the aquarium shares its location with the Chattanooga History Center – which does provide interpretation of Chattanooga’s role in the 19th Century removal of American Indians to present-day Oklahoma.
The highlight of this month’s new stamps is the new stamp for Tule Lake National Monument. The Tule Lake Japanese Internment Camp had been a part of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument ever since President George W. Bush established that monument in 2008, but it became a stand-alone unit of the National Park System with the passage of the Dingell Act earlier this year. This month, it finally got its own Passport Cancellation. Tule Lake is now the third of the ten Japanese relocation centers established during World War II to become a Unit of the National Park System, the others being Mazanar National Historic Site in California and Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho (with an outlying unit in Washington State.) Honouliuli National Historic Site in Hawaii was also used for Japanese Internment, but it was not an official relocation center, and its largest population consisted of Prisoners of War.
Tule Lake is notable because despite being the second relocation center to open, just two and a half weeks after Manzanar opened, Tule Lake went on to become:
the largest relocation center, with more than 18,000 internees at peak population on Christmas Day, 1944;
the last relocation center to peak in population, with the 9 other relocation centers peaking in population in 1942 or 1943;
the longest-open relocation center, at 1,394 days; and
the last relocation center to close, with the last resident not departing until March 20, 1946, some seven months after the war had ended.
The addition of Tule Lake National Monument as a stand-alone national park is yet another reminder that the National Park System includes not just the triumphs of American history, but also those moments when our country painfully failed to live up to our founding ideals and was responsible for grave injustice.
The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, in Washington and Oregon, primarily interprets the story not of a military installation, but instead of an important Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland. The first fort was established in 1825 before being relocated in 1829. The park features a reconstruction of the original fort, which burned to the ground in 1866.
This national park site is also responsible, however, for administering the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, which is something of a historic preservation district immediately adjacent to the Park. Although not a unit of the National Park System, the Vancouver National Historic Reserve preserves the Vancouver Barracks. The current structures in the Barracks mostly date to the early 20th Century, but the origins of the Barracks date back to U.S. Army’s Camp Vancouver. Camp Vancouver was established in 1849 to provide order for settlers arriving on the Oregon Trail, and was intentionally placed adjacent to the Hudson Bay Company’s installation for that reason. The Pearson Air Museum is actually part of the National Historic Reserve, not the National Historic Site. The area that became Pearson Field actually dates back to aviation’s first decade when it was an aircraft demonstration area and manufacturing center. It was formally established as an air field in the early 1920’s. The Pearson Air Museum commemorates the aviation history of this location, including how the first aircraft to circumnavigate the world landed here in 1924.
The Port Byron Canal Heritage Park is located directly off the New York State Thruway in central New York. The Park features an old canal lock from an 1854 enlargement, a restored 1894 tavern, and a new visitor center that was just built in 2016. The visitor center is particularly notable for including a model of a canal lock that was displayed at the 1893 Columbian Exposition / World’s Fair in Chicago. This new addition gives the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor 31 active cancellation locations, from Albany to Buffalo.
The Tutwiler Quilters stamp is the 29th cancellation for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area in northeast Mississippi. 20 of those are generic stamps for the various counties or localities in the Heritage Area, so this is only the 9th destination-specific cancellation for the heritage area. This stamp has an interesting story behind it. In 1987, Sister Maureen Delaney, a Catholic nun, moved from California to Tutwiler, MIssissippi to join the Tutwiler Clinic. The clinic had been founded four years earlier by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to serve one of the poorest counties in the Delta. Soon after arriving, Sister Delaney met Mary Sue Robertson, who sewed quilt tops by hand in her home, and was part of the strong quilt-making tradition in the African-American community there. Sister Delaney recognized that the high-quality quilts produced in this tradition had untapped value that could be used to empower the women in this community. She brought together expert quilters and sewers, along with younger women who could learn from those with more experience, and carry on the quilt-making tradition. Although Mary Sue Robertson would die just two years later, her experience with Sister Maureen Delaney led directly to the establishment of the Tutwiler Quilters, along with the Tutwiler Community Education Center. One of Mary Sue Robertson’s quilts still hangs in the Tutwiler Community Education Center, and the Tutwiler Quilters still sell a variety of quilts and other creations. These
The Nez Perce National Historical Park interprets the culture and history of the Nez Perce Tribe of American Indians, and includes a total of 38 sites across four states – although only three of them current have separate cancellations. The Nez Perce National Historic Trail* commemorates the route taken by a large band of Nez Perce Indians under the leadership of Chief Joseph in their attempt to flee to Canada in order to escape a U.S. Cavalry unit with orders to force them on to a reservation. The trail begins in eastern Oregon and ends at the Bear Paw Battlefield unit of Nez Perce National Historical Park in north-central Montana. Like Tule Lake National Monument, the Nez Perce National Historic Trail tell the story of a darker period in U.S. History of the government forcibly expelling pepople from their homes.
The main visitor center for both the park and the trail is located in Spalding, Idaho in the center of Idaho’s panhandle. The town of Lapwai is the next town to the south of Spalding, and is the seat of government of the Nez Perce Tribe. The town of Spalding is named after Henry Spalding, who was a missionary to the Nez Perce. The addition of the new stamps reading “Lapwai, ID” adds a stamp with a name in the Nez Perce Tribe’s own language for the park and trail dedicated to their history and culture. The Nez Perce National Historical Park includes numerous sites in the area relating to the cultural traditions and history of the Nez Perce Tribe. The visitor center also includes a stamp for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, commemorating the important encounter the explorers had with the Nez Perce on their journey across the Rocky Mountains.
Saratoga National Historical Park commemorates the 1777 turning-point battle of the American Revolutionary War. The battle defeated British General John Burgoyne’s planned three-pronged attack to re-take what is now New York State and divide the colonies. The Saratoga Monument is located in the town of Victory, New York and is open seasonally for self-guided climbs to the top. You can also find the restored home of American General Philip Schuyler in nearby Schuylerville, also open seasonally.
The Rodgers Tavern is located in Perryville, at the top of the Chesapeake Bay, and just across the Susquehanna River from Havre de Grace, Maryland – which is a Passport cancellation site of its own. The British burned Havre de Grace as well as the nearby Principio Iron Furnace during the War of 1812 in May 1813 – a year and a half before the famed Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail links together many sites associated with British activity in the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, as well as marking the actual route of attack for British troops on their way to Baltimore for the fateful engagement there.
The Rodgers Tavern was originally built in the late 1600’s and was known as the “ferry house” for its association with a ferry across the Susquehanna River to Havre de Grace, Maryland. George Washington was a frequent guest at the tavern on his travels between Virginia and Philadelphia and points north. This includes stopping there with the Comte de Rochambeau on his way to the final engagement of the Revolutionary War in Yorktown, Virginia – a journey commemorated by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail.
Cover Photo: The Saratoga Monument in Victory, NY. Photo from 2007.
Note: the original release of stamps for May 2019 included a cancellation for Nez Perce National Historic Trail | Lapwai, ID. Prior to the publication of this post, however, the list was corrected to reflect that this was a stamp for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. This post reflects the corrected list.
Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area | Ottawa, IL
California National Historic Trail | Lassen Volcanic NP, CA
California National Historic Trail | Fort Kearny SHP, NE
Oregon National Historic Trail | Fort Kearny SHP, NE
Pony Express National Historic Trail | Fort Kearny SHP, NE
The government shutdown in early 2019 significantly reduced the normal creation of new Parks Passport cancellation stamps, with no new additions in both February and in April.
The new additions are headlined by three official cancellations for the Aviation National Heritage Area, which is centered around the Dayton Aviation National Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio. The Armstong Air and Space Museum is located about an hour north of Dayton in Wapakoneta – the home town of the first man to walk on the moon. It contains memorabilia related to the life and achievements of Neil Armstong, as we all as other exhibits related to the history of the space program. This new cancellation would be a great way to celebrate the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Armstrong becoming the first human to set foot on another world on July 20, 1969.
The Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum in Dayton itself contains the graves of Orville and Wilbur Wright. It also contains the grave of Charles Kettering, a notable inventor whose accomplishments include developing the first aerial missile. The Wright B Flyer Museum in nearby Miamisburg, south of Dayton, displays and operates a replica of the Wright Brothers’ first production aircraft – the “Model B.”
The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail has added fave stamps this month. Four are new stamps in the state of Montana, and the fifth is just an update to one of its stamps in Iowa. The Lewis & Clark Center in Sioux City, Iowa interprets the Corps of Discovery’s late summer encampment there. The only death on the expedition occurred there when one Sargent Charles Floyd died, most likely due to appendicitis. As for the four new stamps in Montana, the Fort Peck Dam has an interpretive center for the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Montana, which contains a particularly undeveloped stretch of the trail route along the Missouri River. The town of Fort Benton in central Montana is the home of Montana’s state memorial to the Lewis & Clark expedition. The Canyon Ferry Dam in the state capital of Helena also provides interpretation of the Corps of Discovery. The Yellowstone Gateway Museum in the town of Livingston on Interstate 90 interprets the return trip of the explorers.
The Shirley House in Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi is the only surviving structure from the Civil War era left in the park. This cancellation joins the existing cancellations for the main park visitor center, as well as for the museum preserving the Civil War-era ironclad, the U.S.S. Cairo.
Fort Kearny in central Nebraska is preserved as a Nebraska State Park. This U.S. Army outpost was a waystation first on the Oregon Trail, then the California Trail, and then finally for the Pony Express riders. Somewhat confusingly, Fort Kearny State Historical Park is located near the town of Kearney, Nebraska. The Fort was named after an officer in the U.S. Army by the name of Stephen Watts Kearny, and the town was named after the fort. Apparently at some point in the 19th Century, a well-meaning post office worker misspelled the name of the town as “Kearney” and the misspelled name stuck.
The California Trail also gets a new cancellation this month commemorating one of the alternate routings west, this one going through present-day Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Cover Photo Credit of the Armstrong Museum: Kremerbi [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
There are lots more other changes to the National Park System included in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which has now been officially signed into law.
Among the many remaining changes that jump out to me is that Death Valley National Park is expanded by 35,292 acres, further expanding the largest national park in the contiguous 48 states. Although this is a small addition to Death Valley’s existing 3.4 million acres, the expansion is larger than seven other national parks. If this were a stand-alone addition to the National Park System, we might well be celebrating the addition of a 62nd national park. In fact, the additional lands are about the size of Bryce Canyon National Park’s 35, 835 acres. So in some ways, this addition to Death Valley National Park is the new national park that no one is talking about. If land of this size had been set aside as a new national park with a new name, it would certainly be headline news. As it is, its a bit of a footnote, but is still worth celebrating.
A bit over 6,000 acres of this addition come from adding an area known as “the Crater” to the Park. If you look closely at a map of Death Valley National Park, The Crater appears as a “doughnut hole” of Bureau of Land Management Land in the northeast corner of the Park. That hole will now be filled in. The remaining 29,000 acres come from expanding the Park southwards to include the land between the current boundaries and the Fort Irwin National Training Center operated by the U.S. military.
Although the expansion of Death Valley is far and away the largest expansion of the National Park System under the Dingell Act, there are a number of other changes to existing units that should not be overlooked:
Acadia National Park benefits by Congress confirming the 2015 addition of land on the Schoodic Peninsula to the Park;
Fort Frederica National Monument in Georgia, where the British solidified their hold on their southern colonies, is expanded by 22%, with the addition of 55 additional acres;
Fort Scott National Historic Site in Kansas, which preserves a Fort that played an important role in the “Bleeding Kansas” conflicts of the antebellum years before the Civil War gets a small boundary expansion;
Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park not only gets a new name, but gets formal recognition of the inclusion of Fort Moultrie and the Charleston Lifesaving Station within the boundaries of the park after 60 years of being unofficially included in the park;
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Georgia, the site of an important battle on General Sherman’s “March to the Sea” during the Civil War, gets a small addition of 8 acres around the Wallis House and Hairston Hill;
Joshua Tree National Park gets a modest expansion of 4,518 acres, plus the authority to establish a new visitor center in the unincorporated town of Joshua Tree, California;
the Davis Bridge Battlefield in Tennessee, which is currently already a Parks Passport cancellation location by virtue of being part of a shared National Historic Landmark designation with the national military park itself,
additional acres around the Fallen Timbers Battlefield site in Tennessee, and
the Russel House Battlefield site on the Tennessee-Mississippi border;
Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota benefits by allowing the Department of the Interior to transfer 49 acres within the current Park boundaries that are currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management to National Park Service management, and also authorizes the possibility of up to several dozen additional acres to be donated to the National Park Service by the State of Minnesota;
Beyond the additions to the National Park System, the Dingell Act will also make a major change to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, extending it from its current starting point near St. Louis, Missouri eastward to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2004, during the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, Congress directed the National Park Service to conduct a “Special Resource Study” on extending the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail eastward to include routes related to activities occurring both before and after the main 1804-1806 expedition already commemorated by the existing Trail. The National Park Service looked at some 25 different route segments as part of its study, eventually determining that only the routes from Pittsburgh to St. Louis along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers met the criteria for historical significance to be added to the National Historic Trails System.
Interestingly, in researching this post, I discovered that the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail had already certified 12 of these “Eastern Legacy” sites as Trail locations, despite not being located along the then-authorized trail route. The extension of the Lewis & Clark Trail to Pittsburgh will incorporate about half of these sites, but five certified sites will remain outside of the new, extended National Historic Trail:
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia where Lewis procured armaments for the expedition and tested plans for a collapsable boat (which ultimately failed);
the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Lewis received training in the natural sciences from Benjamin Rush, and other Society Members, in preparation for the expedition;
the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Meriwether Lewis received Medical Training from Benjamin Rush and others; and finally,
the Lewis and Clark Herbarium at the Academy of Natural Resources where most of the plant specimens collected by the Corps of Discovery continue to be housed today.
The Dingell Act will also be adding one new Affiliated Area to the National Park System. The Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield in Tennessee, which already has a passport cancellation and an Eastern National-operated bookstore gets elevated to recognition as an Affiliated Area of the National Park System. The 368 acre battlefield is managed by the non-profit American Battlefield Trust, and preserves the site of a Civil War engagement that took place on New Year’s Eve, approximately three and a half months prior to the Battle of Shiloh.
Finally, the Dingell Act authorizes a number of special resource studies for future additions to the National Park System. A special resource study is where the National Park Service formally studies and gathers public input on the national significance, suitability, and feasibility of a proposed addition to the National Park System. As mentioned earlier, it can be a long time between the authorization of a special resource study and a change to the National Park System – 15 years in the case of the eastward extension of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. Here are the studies authorized by the Dingell Act:
the President James K. Polk Home in Columbia, Tennessee, which would be the first National Park System Unit other than Gateway Arch National Park interpreting the Presidency of James K. Polk;
the Thurgood Marshall School in Baltimore, Maryland, better-known as Public School 103, which the first African-American Supreme Court Justice attended as a youth;
President Street Station, which played a role in the Underground railroad, Baltimore’s Civil War riots, the growth of the railroad industry, and early 20th century immigration (and which also currently has an Eastern National Bookstore and its own Parks Passport cancellation already);
Camp Amache Internment Camp in Granada, Colorado, which would be the fourth Japanese internment camp added to the National Park System;
the George W. Bush childhood home in Midland Texas;
the Ocmulgee River Corridor in Macon, Georgia; and
the route of the explorer Zebulon Montgomery Pike (of Pike’s Peak fame) for consideration as a national historic trail.
These special resource studies will join a slew of studies already underway by the National Park Service, including a study of Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York that was authorized by a piece of stand-alone legislation in October 2018.
The authorizations of special resource studies for the President Street Station and for Thurgood Marshall’s Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland are particularly notable because Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland first introduced legislation requesting this study in October of 2011. It took more than 7 years to get the legislation enacted, just for a study! The proposal for the study of a Pike National Historic Trail goes all the way back to 2010! That really illustrates how much effort goes into establishing just one new unit of the National Park System – even a small one! Moreover, many of these special resource studies will of course conclude that the proposed addition is either not suitable, not feasible, or even not nationally significant and recommend against inclusion in the National Park System. Although Congress can always make its own decision, an unfavorable recommendation in the special resource study often effectively ends efforts to designate a particular area a national park.
This article is Part III of a three-part series on changes to the National Park System in early 2019. Check out Part I and Part II.
Update: This post was updated after publication to make it clearer that the “new” national park will still be known as Death Valley National Park.
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 |
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail | National Frontier Trails Museum, MO
Schuykill River Valley National Heritage Area |
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 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.
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.
Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve | Hubbard Glacier – Yakutat
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training | Natchitoches, LA
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail |
Canyon Ferry Reservoir, MT
Fort Benton, MT
Yellowstone Gateway Museum, MT
Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area | Intermodal Tourist Center
MotorCities National Heritage Area |
Automotive Hall of Fame
Detroit Historical Museum
Detroit Institute of Arts
Durant – Dort Carriage Company
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Gilmore Car Museum
GM – Renaissance Center
Historic Fort Wayne
Meadow Brook Hall
Michigan Historical Center
Michigan Military Tech. & Hist. Soc.
Old Mill Museum
Plymouth Historical Museum
R. E. Olds Transportation Museum
Roush Automotive Collection
Sloan Auto Museum
Stahls Automotive Foundation
Walker Tavern Historic Site
Yankee Air Museum
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve is the largest unit in the National Park System, encompassing 13.2 million acres around Alaska’s “southeastern hinge” between the panhandle and the main part of the state. The new stamp this month combines two previously separate stamps, one for the Hubbard Glacier and the other for the Yakutat Ranger Station. The Hubbard Glacier is at the extreme southeastern end of this park, at the point where Alaska itself is the narrowest, and the Alaska Panhandle is squeezed between the Pacific Ocean, the Canadian Yukon Territory and Province of British Columbia. The Hubbard Glacier area is only accessible by boat or by plane, and has been described to me by one National Park Ranger who has worked in the area as “one of the most-spectacular sights in all of the National Park System.” The town of Yakutat is actually located a dozen miles away from the park itself, across Yakutat Bay in the Tongass National Forest, and more than 25 miles away from the Hubbard Glacier itself, but is the only community of any size in the area. Rangers based in Yakutat are responsible for managing the visitors who approach the Hubbard Glacier area by boat, cruise ship, or seaplane.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves an extensive portion of the Colorado River, including several of its tributaries, in southern Utah and northern Arizona. In particular, it includes the Colorado River from the moment that it flows west out of Canyonlands National Park into the eponymous Glen Canyon, and then as the rivers widen into the famous Lake Powell, formed by the Glen Canyon Dam in the city of Page in northern Arizona. The park then also includes the Colorado River’s path through Marble Canyon south of the Glen Canyon Dam to the western tip of Grand Canyon National Park. The two stamps this month are replacements for existing stamps. One is for the Park’s main visitor center, the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center, in the Arizona town of Marble Canyon. The Navajo Bridge is one of just two bridges (and one car ferry) across more than 250 miles of the Colorado River from the Hoover Dam all the way upstream to the remote town of Hite in central Utah. This spectacular bridge is both an important transportation corridor in this part of the country, as well as an architectural landmark itself.
The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is a research institute that was founded in 1994 on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The National Park Service facility has the mission of advancing the state of the art in the preservation of historic resources of all types. Its not clear how much of this facility really caters to visitors, but this stamp does advance the growing trend towards even National Park Service management offices having a Passport cancellation. One aspect of the National Park Service that many people don’t think about is the huge collection of historic artifacts in the various National Park Service museum collections from Civil War battlefields, to southwest American Indian pueblos, to pioneer forts and ancient fossil beds. This center brings in National Park Service employees from across the country to help meet that preservation challenge.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail now has 37 active cancellations with the addition of these three new cancellations from the state of Montana. The town of Fort Benton, in the central part of the state, contains the interpretive center for the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, which is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. That monument preserves spectacular cliffs and rock formations, as well as one of the last wild stretches of the Missouri River that remains much as Lewis & Clark would have experienced it. The Canyon Ferry Reservoir is located much further upstream, near the state capital of Helena. Suffice to say, the Canyon Ferry dam has not left the Missouri River much as Lewis & Clark would have experienced it, as has happened to so many stretches of the Missouri River. However, the dams are import sources of electrical power and flood control, and also provide natural points for providing historical interpretation. Finally, the Yellowstone Gateway Museum is located in Livingston, MT, just east of Bozeman, MT on the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone River Valley was explored by William Clark on the return trip home from the Pacific Ocean.
Finally, this month it is the turn of the Motor Cities National Heritage Area to expand. This heritage area includes portions of 16 counties in southeast and central Michigan, and the partner association for his heritage area focuses on programs and activities telling the history of the automobile industry in the area. Up to this point, the heritage area had 18 active cancellations, and the new additions this month bring it to 27 active active cancellations. Since this is a reboot of the passport program for the Heritage Area, I’ll give a brief overview of all the active cancellations.
Eastern Michigan is the home of America’s iconic automobile brands, and a number of automobile museums, 10 of which have cancellations now. The GM – Renaissance Center is located in the world headquarters of General Motors in downtown Detroit. The Sloan Auto Museum in Flint, Michigan is devoted to the history of the Buick brand, and is now part of a larger science center. Also in Flint is the museum of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company‘s offices, which is believed to have been the largest manufacturer of horse-drawn carriages in the age before the automobile. The R. E. Olds Transportation Museum in the state capital of Lansing, Michigan is dedicated to the history of the Oldsmobile brand. The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum in the town of the same name has a collection ranging across a number of current and former automotive brands, including a Hudson Hornet race car – a car made famous in the Disney-Pixar “Cars” series of movies. Also in Ypsilanti is the Michigan Firehouse Museum, with collections spanning the history of fire fighting equipment, including the history of fire fighting vehicles. The Roush Automotive Collection in Livonia is dedicated to the history of the company, and includes a large number of race cars. The Gilmore Car Museum in the town of Hickory Corners has a collection of more than 200 vehicles, along with other attractions. The Stahls Automotive Foundation has more than 80 vehicles in Chesterfield, Michigan. Finally, the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn has honored more than 800 significant figures in the automotive industry from around the world.
Dearborn is also the home of the most-famous automotive industrialist of all time, Henry Ford. There are seven cancellations dedicated to his legacy. Several of the MotorCities NHA passport locations are dedicated to him, his family, and his works. The Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan and the Old Mill Museum in Dundee, Michigan both preserve early 19th-century grist mills that were once owned by Henry Ford. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is where Henry Ford produced the first Model T. Edsel Ford was Henry Ford’s only child, and the home he shared with his wife Eleanor in Grosse Pointe Shores is now open for visitation. The Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport in Belleville, Michigan is where Henry Ford directed the construction the B-24 Liberator Bombers during World War II. Today it has a number of display aircraft, and also offers rides in historic aircraft. The Henry Ford National Historic Landmark in Dearborn, Michigan is one of the largest museums in the country, devoted to the history of the industrial revolution in the United States, along with other aspects of modern American history. Greenfield Village is a living history museum attached to The Henry Ford with an extensive collection of historic buildings. Among those historic buildings, is the home of the Wright Brothers, which was moved here by Henry Ford from Dayton, Ohio, long before the site eventually became part of Dayton Aviation National Historical Park.
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.
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.
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.
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, Illinois; Clinton, 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.
* – 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.Share this Parkasaurus post: Follow Parkasaurus:
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
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 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.
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.