Postmaster Helps Keep Light Shining at Historic Boston Lighthouse

Paul-Medina_story-photo_1When USPS dedicates the New England Coastal Lighthouse Forever® stamps this Saturday (July 13), no one will be happier than New Ipswich, New Hampshire, Postmaster Paul Medina.

“In 2005,” said Medina, “I wrote a letter to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee specifically requesting the Boston Light stamp.” The stamp now is part of the new collection.

Situated on Little Brewster Island, the reassuring lens atop the 102-foot-tall, white lighthouse tower has guided ships through the perilous waters of Boston Harbor’s south channel for 297 years.

Designated a National Historic Landmark, Boston Light holds the distinction of being, by law, the only U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer-manned lighthouse remaining in the U.S. However, since 2003, the duty has been assumed by a civilian Coast Guard Keeper with support from U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary officers.

“Boston Light is the oldest light station in North America,” says Medina, who serves in the Auxillary. “It dates back to 1716.”

In 1776, the British destroyed the tower as they retreated from Boston. It was rebuilt in 1783.

Despite GPS devices and other technology that have made navigating the seas easier, Medina said they can’t replace the stalwart Boston Light. “Our light is burning 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”


Each of the five New England Coastal Lighthouses stamps features an original acrylic painting by Howard Koslow based on recent photographs of the lighthouses. In addition to many other stamp projects, Koslow has produced the art for the entire Lighthouses series: the five lighthouses in the 1990 stamp booklet; the Great Lakes Lighthouses stamps issued in 1995; the Southeastern Lighthouses stamps in 2003; the Pacific Lighthouses stamps in 2007; and the Gulf Coast Lighthouses stamps in 2009.

Fancy adding some of Howard Koslow’s work to your walls? Here’s your chance! Today we are giving away one Southeastern Lighthouses keepsake. Double-matted and suitable for framing, it featureHillsboro Inlet prizes a reproduction of the Hillsboro Inlet stamp artwork and a mounted strip of the five Southeastern Lighthouses stamps. All you have to do to enter to win is answer a simple question:

The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse was built under government contract in Detroit, Michigan, then erected and inspected prior to being shipped in parts to its present location near Pompano Beach, Florida. This octagonal, iron-skeleton tower was reassembled and activated in 1907. Its daymark—black on the top portion and white below—distinguishes it from lighthouses to the north and south. Its beam can be seen from a distance of more than 20 miles. In what year was the lighthouse fully automated?

To enter, send your answer, along with your name and address, to: USPS Stamps, 1300 Mercantile Ln, Ste 139C, Largo MD 20774.

Of those who answer correctly, one person will be randomly chosen to receive the Hillsboro Inlet keepsake. Entries must be postmarked by Tuesday, July 16. Good luck!

This entry was posted in 2013 Stamp Program, Collector's Items, Contests, History, Philatelic Products, Places and tagged , , , by USPS Stamps. Bookmark the permalink.

About USPS Stamps

The Postal Service™ is proud of its role in portraying the American experience to a world audience through the issuance of postage stamps and postal stationery. Each year the Postal Service issues commemorative stamps reflecting subjects of national significance and appeal. More than 160 years of stamp development has yielded an incredible archive of imagery and commentary reflecting American culture and society. Even in this fast-changing world, stamps are still a versatile and convenient method of postage. And stamp collecting is a lifetime hobby that is fun and educational for all ages. Stamp collecting is easy to start without a big investment. It is also a great way to learn about the world and its many wonders, opening the door to an exciting universe of history, science, geography, the arts, technology, and sports. Our mission is to provide universal service that is prompt, reliable, efficient, affordable, and self-sustaining. Throughout its history the Postal Service has grown with the nation, binding it together by ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has the same ability to communicate regardless of technological change.