January 3, 2015

1394 UNITED STATES (New York) - Esopus Meadows Lighthouse

Nicknamed Maid of the Meadows, and located on the Hudson River, near the town Esopus (which took its name from the native Esopus tribe), Esopus Meadows Lighthouse stands on the west side of the channel, in the river, and is accessible only by boat. Its purpose was to warn mariners of the mud flats known as the Esopus Meadows, located off the western shore of the river, and its construction began in 1838, when the land was ceded for $1.00 by the town to the US government. The light became active in 1839, and was a twin to the Roundout II lighthouse further north up the river. By 1867, the building was heavily damaged by flood and ice and funds for a new lighthouse were appropriated in 1870.

The current lighthouse was completed in 1871 and is the last wooden lighthouse in existence on the Hudson and the only Hudson lighthouse with a clapboard exterior. One of a group of lighthouses in the Northeast built to an award-winning design by a Vermont architect, Esopus Meadows Light has sister lights at Rose Island Light, Sabin Point, Pomham Rocks, and Colchester Reef. It was closed in 1965 and by the 1990s it had fallen into a state of disrepair. The most serious problem was the deterioration of the foundation (built from granite atop piles that have been driven into the riverbed), which had begun to fall apart due to ice damage. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

About the stamps

The first stamp, Sealed with Love, was issued on January 30, 2013 to celebrate Valentine's Day. It depicts an envelope fastened with an elegant wax seal which, in shades of red, features a small heart enclosed inside a larger heart. The Victorians were ardent letter writers, and etiquette manuals aided them in penning appropriate letters to their loved ones. There also was a precise etiquette for using sealing wax. At a time when blue was considered the color of love, various shades of wax denoted the degree of emotion felt by the sender.

The second stamp, depicting Spicebush Swallowtail, is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here

Esopus Meadows Lighthouse - Official website
Esopus Meadows Light - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 25.01.2014
Photo: Pendor Natural Color

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