|Date of Issue||July 13, 2013|
First-Class Forever Commemorative
|Perforation or Dimension||.98 x 1.56 in./24.89 x 39.62 mm|
|Series||New England Coastal Lighthouses|
|Series Time Span||2013|
|Issue Location||Portland, ME 04101; New Castle, NH 03854; Narragansett, RI 02883; New London, CT 06320; & Boston, MA 02205|
|Postal Administration||United States|
The first navigational aid in New Hampshire was established in Portsmouth Harbor, the state’s only deep-water port. Although citizens had demanded a lighthouse as early as 1721, it was not until 50 years later that the Portsmouth Harbor’s first beacon was lit. An iron lantern topped the 50-foot shingled tower; three copper lamps provided the light. The 1771 tower was replaced in 1804 by another tower constructed of wood, located some 100 yards to the south of the original site.
When the second wooden tower succumbed to deterioration, a new 48-foot tower of bolted cast-iron plates was built on its foundation. It was actually assembled inside the old structure, which was dismantled after construction.
Managed by the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, the 1878 lighthouse still stands on the northeast point of Great Island on the Piscataqua River in New Castle. It retains its fourth-order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse was automated in 1960 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2009.
On July 13, 2013, in Portland, Maine; New Castle, New Hampshire; Narragansett, Rhode Island; New London, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts, the Postal Service™ will issue the New England Coastal Lighthouses (Forever® priced at 46 cents) commemorative First-Class Mail® stamps in five designs in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps. The stamps will go on sale nationwide July 13, 2013.
There’s something about lighthouses. They fascinate us; they enchant us; they draw us in. Utilitarian yet majestic, these structures achieve a beauty and romance that reach far beyond their practical natures. Recognizing our love affair with these lonely sentinels, the U.S. Postal Service has released a series of stamps celebrating our nation’s lighthouses.
New England Coastal Lighthouses features five lighthouses: Portland Head, Cape Elizabeth, Maine; Portsmouth Harbor, New Castle, New Hampshire; Point Judith, Narragansett, Rhode Island; New London Harbor, New London, Connecticut; and Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts. Each stamp shows a close-up view of one of the five lighthouses that captures not only the down-to-earth aspect of the tower but also the mysterious qualities that compel us to come closer.
These five lighthouses are among the oldest in the U.S., and each is on the National Register of Historic Places. Boston Harbor Light is also a National Historic Landmark.
Howard Koslow created original paintings for New England Coastal Lighthouses stamp art—and for the entire lighthouse series. Howard E. Paine and Greg Breeding served as art directors.
The New England Coastal Lighthouses stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps.