Tag Archives: Mississippi Gulf Coast NHA

August 2017 Stamps – City of Rocks, Mojave, Women’s Rights and More!

Mojave National Preserve has a new stamp this month at the Mojave River Valley Museum, which interprets the cultural history of the Mojave Desert, including the famous resort community of Zzyzx, part of which is seen here as part of Mojave National Preserve. Photo from 2007.

In a rarity, there are relatively few new stamps this month from National Heritage Areas and National Historic Trails, but instead the new stamps are mostly from full-fledged national park units.  Here they are:

Boston National Historical Park | USS Cassin Young

City of Rocks National Reserve | Almo, ID

Mojave National Preserve | Mojave River Valley Museum

Women’s Rights National Historical Park | Wesleyan Chapel

Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area | Historic Grass Lawn

City of Rocks National Reserve was a landmark for emigrants on the California Trail and gets its own cancellation this month.  Photo Credit: National Park Service

The highlight of the new additions is an updated stamp for City of Rocks National Reserve in southern Idaho.   The City of Rocks are unusual rock formations in southern Idaho that were so-named by emigrants on the California Trail to the gold fields of California.

For true Passport enthusiasts, this new stamp is an interesting case study.  City of Rocks National Reserve was added to the National Park System in 1988, two years after the Passport Program began in 1986.  Its first cancellation as similar to this one, reading “Almo, ID” on the bottom of the stamp, and was available through 1996.    When that stamp was replaced, however, it was replaced with a variation of that stamp, reading “Oregon Trail – Almo, ID” on the bottom.

This stamp, however, had a significant problem.   The Oregon and California Trails both begin in Independence, Missouri and from there, they essentially parallel each other for some 1,200 miles  across the whole of Nebraska and Wyoming and into Idaho.  Then, in central Idaho, at a place called the Raft River Crossing, the two trails part their separate ways.  The Oregon Trail heads to the north and west towards Oregon; the California Trail heads to the south and west towards Nevada and California.  City of Rocks, it turns out, is actually located to the south and to the west, along the California Trail.  This means that City of Rocks is actually not located on the Oregon Trail at all – despite the fact that for some time, the only Passport Cancellation for this Park read “Oregon Trail” on it!

This awkward situation was finally corrected in the mid-2000’s when that stamp reading “Oregon Trail – Almo, ID” on the bottom was replaced with a new stamp reading “CA Trail – Almo, ID” on the bottom.   In 2012, a second stamp was added at this park, a California National Historic Trail stamp reading “City of Rocks NR, ID” on the bottom.   Unfortunately, when the year expired on the “CA Trail – Almo, ID” stamp in 2014, that California National Historic Trail stamp became the only Passport Cancellation with an active year wheel available at the Park!  So this month’s new addition finally clears things up, and gives City of Rocks National Reserve two Passport Cancellations, one of the Park itself, and one for the California National Historic Trail.

The USS Cassin Young is the less-famous of two museum ships at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston National Historical Park. It now joins the USS Constitution in having its own Passport Cancellation. Photo from August 2017.

At Boston National Historical Park, the USS Cassin Young is a World War II-era Fletcher-class destroyer.  It is docked as a museum ship at the Charlestown Navy Yard Unit of Boston National Historical Park, near the USS Constitution.  Although 175 Fletcher-class Destroyers were built at the Charlestown Navy Yard, the USS Cassin Young was built in California and served in the Pacfic Theater. On July 30, 1945 twenty-one members of its crew were killed in a kamikaze attack near Okinawa.  In 1952, it did receive a major overhaul at Charlestown Navy Yard, one of several visits it made there, before being decommissioned in 1960.

The Mojave River Valley Museum is located in the gateway community of Barstow, California.  Barstow is home to the Mojave National Preserve Park Headquarters, and is located at the intersection of Interstates 15 and 40, making it a convenient gateway to the Park.  Interstates 15 and 40  also form the northern and southern boundaries of the Preserve about 60 miles to the west. The Mojave River Valley Museum  back in Barstow is free to the public, and interprets the scientific, historical, and cultural heritage of the area.  A visit to the Museum is a great way to learn about the desert before heading out into the Preserve itself.

At the top of this month’s post, I include a picture of the ruins of the former Soda Springs Resort at Zzyzx, which is now part of the Mojave National Preserve, as an example of the cultural history of the Mojave Desert area.   The name, Zzyzx is pronounced to rhyme with “Isaac’s.”   The name was chosen by the resort’s founder, Curtis Springer, who wanted the name to be the “last word in the English language,” in keeping with his resort’s slogan of Zzyzx being the “last word in health.”   Springer was eventually evicted from Zzyzx for not having legitimate claim to the public land in the Mojave Desert and for making false medicinal claims.  Nevertheless, the resort had one lasting positive legacy; Springer stocked his pond (shown above) with a little fish called the Mojave tui chub.  Now endangered, the “Lake Tundae” pond is one of the last refuges of this species.  The site is now run by the California State University consortium as the Desert Studies Center.  The site doesn’t have a Passport cancellation stamp (yet) – but with a name like “Zzyzx,” Parkasaurus is certainly really hoping that it happens someday, right?

Mrs. Parkasaurus is holding one of babies on a rainy day in front of the Wesleyan Chapel at Women’s Rights National Historical Park where the Declaration of Sentiments was signed.  Photo from 2014.

The somewhat restored remains of the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York was the site of  the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.  Women’s Rights National Historical Park commemorates the events of the 1848 women’s rights convention, and its main visitor center is located immediately adjacent to the Wesleyan Chapel.

In July, Women’s Rights National Historical Park announced that the the Stanton House in Seneca Falls and the M’Clintock House in nearby Waterloo have been recently outfitted with period furniture and reopened to the public.  The Stanton House was the home of the famed women’s rights leader, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, for 15 years.  The M’Clintock House is where the attendees drafted the famous “Declaration of Sentiments” that was later adopted by Convention attendees meeting in the Wesleyan Chapel  The M’Clintock House has had a cancellation since 2010.  The Stanton House does not yet have a cancellation, but would be a logical candidate to receive one in the future.

There is actually a fifth location that comprises Women’s Rights National Historical Park, the Hunt House, also in Seneca Falls.   It was at a meeting in the Hunt House that the plans for a women’s rights convention were conceived.  The National Park Service acquired the Hunt House in 2000, but it is not yet open to the public, and so no cancellation just yet.

Finally, the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area adds one more Passport stamp this month, after adding nearly two dozen last month.  Historic Grass Lawn is a replica of the antebellum Milner House in Gulfport, Mississippi, which was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.  The replica building was dedicated in 2012 and is used as a reception hall for events.

The final shot this month is of nightfall at Mojave National Preserve in California. Photo from 2007.

 

 

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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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November Stamps: 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi….

Davis Bayou-001
Davis Bayou in Gulf Islands National Seashore is one of 19 new Passport locations in Mississippi this month.  Photo credit: NPS.gov.

 

Eastern National has released its list of new stamps for the month of November, and its a big month for the State of Mississippi.

For starters, the Gulf Islands National Seashore has two new stamps:

  • one for Opal Beach in Florida, and
  • one ofr Davis Bayou in Mississippi.

These two additions give the park a total of 10 stamps available to collect.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is primarily known for pristine white sand beaches on coastal barrier islands in the Florida Panhandle and coastal Mississippi.  (Interestingly, the park does not include any lands in Alabama in between the two.)   Opal Beach is one of those gorgeouse stretches of white sand, on the eastern end of Santa Rosa Island, just outside of Pensacola, Florida.

In addition to the beaches, however, Gulf Islands National Seashore also preserves some of the natural coastal habitat on the mainland.   Davis Bayou is one of these areas, located just outside of the park’s secondary visitor center in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

The State of Mississippi also gets a number of new additions as the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area has decided to add  18 new Passport cancellations.  These new cancellations will join the existing stamp for “The Mississippi Delta” available at the Heritage Area Headquarters at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.   The new stamps are as follows:

  • Bolivar County
  • Carroll County
  • Coahoma County
  • DeSoto County
  • Holmes County
  • Humphreys County
  • Issaquena County
  • Leflore County
  • Panola County
  • Quitman County
  • Sharkey County
  • Sunflower County
  • Tallahatchie County
  • Tate County
  • Tunica County
  • Warren County
  • Washington County
  • Yazoo County

Based on this list, it seems likely that each of these new stamps will be located at the local County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center in each of the counties located within the Heritage Area, all in northwest Mississippi.  This is a not-uncommon arrangement for Heritage Areas participating in the Passport Program, as there is a natural desire to spread participation out over all areas included in the Heritage Area’s partnership program.   For what its worth, I’m not particularly a fan of that arrangement.   I would much rather have seen the Heritage Area pick out the dozen-or-so most-significant places in the Mississippi Delta, regardless of county, than distribute them evenly.  For example, a stamp at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi would  be much more meaningful to met than simply making a stamp for Coahoma County at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.   Still, these new 18 passport stamps will take passport stamp collectors throughout a part of the country that many of them would probably have been unlikely to visit otherwise – which has always been one of the main points of the program.

The Mississippi Delta NHA is one of three national heritage areas in the state of Mississippi.   The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area has 20 stamps in the southern part of the stamp, and the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area has just two stamps (so far) in the northeast part of the state.

Finally, there were two other new major stamps.   One was for the newly-dedicated American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, DC, which is part of the catchall National Capital Parks unit of the U.S. National Park System.   The other is a new stamp for Great Smoky Mountains Naitonal Park and Bryson City, NC.   Bryson City is the gateway to the Deep Creek area in the northwest corner of the park.

With these new additions, that now takes us up to 1,939 activie Passport cancellations available.   Slowly closing in on 2,000!

 

 

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