|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|
Commonly called the Boston Harbor Light, North America’s first true light station, was built in 1716 at the urging of the city's business community. Three years later a cannon — America’s first fog signal — was added to the light station. During the Revolutionary War, as British forces abandoned the area in 1776, they demolished the lighthouse by blowing it up. Boston Harbor Light is also commonly called Boston Light.
A new rubblestone tower, 75-feet tall, replaced the destroyed lighthouse in 1783; it was raised an additional 14 feet in 1859, when its current second-order Fresnel lens was also installed. After large cracks appeared in the east wall in 1809, iron hoops were installed for support; aluminum bands replaced the corroded iron in 1973–74.
The lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Standing on Little Brewster Island within the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreational Area, it was the last lighthouse in the United States to be automated in 1998 and is the only remaining American lighthouse to have a resident keeper employed by the federal government.
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.