Stamp prices may be going up, but one thing that makes it a bit more palatable is the Postal Service’s effort to produce a wide range of interesting groups of stamps. For mariners there is an interesting new issue of Pacific Lighthouse stamps.
From the USPS press release: Pacific Lighthouses Five Pacific Lighthouses will be honored on stamps for their historic role in guiding vessels safely through perilous waters. The five Pacific Lighthouses stamps will honor Diamond Head Light in Hawaii, Five Finger Light in Alaska, Grays Harbor Light in Washington, Umpqua River Light in Oregon and St. George Reef Light in Northern California.
Each stamp features an original acrylic painting by Howard Koslow based on recent photographs of the lighthouses. Koslow also painted the five Southeastern Lighthouses stamps issued in 2003, as well as the five stamps in the 1990 Lighthouses booklet and the five Great Lakes Lighthouses stamps issued in 1995.
Diamond Head Diamond Head Lighthouse stands at the base of an extinct volcano on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Established in 1899, the original tower was replaced by a new lighthouse in 1917. Today the light from this concrete sentinel leads vessels safely into the harbor of nearby Honolulu.
Currently home to the 14th Coast Guard District Commander, Diamond Head Lighthouse is the last occupied light station in Hawaii. First lit in 1899, the original tower was replaced with a concrete lighthouse in 1917. The light from its third-order Fresnel lens warns ships away from the coral reefs south of the island of Oahu and leads them safely into the harbor of nearby Honolulu. The lighthouse was automated in 1924, and in 1980 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Five Finger Five Finger Lighthouse stands on a small island south of Juneau at the entrance to Alaska’s scenic Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage. Construction on the original wood tower was completed in 1902. Fire destroyed it in 1933, but two years later a new concrete Art Deco-style tower with a black lantern was erected. The lighthouse was automated in 1984, and twenty years later it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today the lighthouse is operated by the Juneau Lighthouse Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to its restoration and preservation.
Grays Harbor At 107 feet, Grays Harbor Lighthouse &mdash also known as Westport Lighthouse &mdash is the tallest lighthouse in the state of Washington and one of the tallest on the Pacific Coast. Dedicated in 1898, this white octagonal tower and its two oil houses stand near Westport Light State Park, where its distinctive red and white beams of light continue to mark the entrance to Grays Harbor. Today the site is operated by the Westport-South Beach Historical Society.
Umpqua River Located south of Reedsport, OR, Umpqua River Lighthouse was the first tower of its kind built in the Oregon Territory. The original sentinel was built in 1857 and marked the river entrance, but erosion caused it to collapse in 1864. A new 65-foot masonry tower was built on higher ground thirty years later. Today the tower stands near Umpqua Lighthouse State Park, where the light from its first-order Fresnel lens &mdash visible from a distance of 21 miles &mdash continues to flash two white beams and one red.
St. George Reef Perched on an exposed rock off the coast of northern California near Crescent City, St. George Reef Lighthouse took 10 years to build. From 1892 until its deactivation in 1975, the light from this concrete and granite tower warned vessels away from the hazardous reef hidden beneath the surface.
St. George Reef Lighthouse stands on an exposed rock off the coast of northern California. Visible from nearby Crescent City, the light from the tower’s black cast-iron lantern began to warn vessels away from the hazardous reef hidden beneath the surface in 1892. Because continued exposure to the unforgiving elements made maintenance expensive and duty dangerous, this concrete and granite sentinel was deactivated in 1975. The St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the lighthouse. In 1993 the society successfully nominated the tower to the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2002 it installed a new lens.