There is something about lighthouses. Solitary and mysterious, they have fascinated people for centuries. When the Greeks compiled their list of the Seven Wonders of the World some time around the first century B.C., among them was the Pharos of Alexandria, a lighthouse built by the ancient Egyptians.
The wonder of lighthouses endures to this day. Across the U.S. and around the world, there are scores of lighthouse lovers who have banded together to preserve and study these romantic beacons and to keep alive the lore that continues to captivate the imagination. If you want to learn more about the work of these societies—or would like to join like-minded lighthouse enthusiasts—check out these organizations:
- The United States Lighthouse Society is an educational and historical nonprofit “founded to assist in the restoration and preservation of America’s lighthouses and to help qualified local groups in their efforts to return the nation’s lighthouses to the public domain.”
- The mission of the Lighthouse Preservation Society “is to preserve historic lighthouse structures for future generations, to open them up to public use and enjoyment, and to document their history and that of their keepers.”
- The American Lighthouse Foundation was created in 1994 to “save and preserve our nation’s historic light stations and their rich heritage” through restoration, promotion, and education.
- Founded in 2002, the World Lighthouse Society has a mission is “to create an International meeting place for all who are concerned with raising public awareness of this important part of worldwide Maritime heritage.”
New England Coastal Lighthouses, the latest stamps in the popular lighthouses series, will be released in just two weeks. If you’ve already fallen in love with the historic lighthouses on the stamps, you can take a virtual tour of all five of them, as well as of many others in New England.
Want to find lighthouse groups near you? There are many regional U.S. and international organizations dedicated to the study and preservation of lighthouses. The virtual guide to New England lighthouses also links to other resources—museums, archives, heritage programs—that offer a wealth of information on regional lighthouses and their history.
Enjoy learning more about these historic beacons, and share your love with friends and family this summer by using the beautiful New England Coastal Lighthouses stamps on all your correspondence.