June 19, 2016
2625 UNITED STATES (Massachusetts) - Nantucket Lighthouse Map
Nantucket is an island located about 50km south of Cape Cod, nicknamed "The Little Grey Lady of the Sea", which refers to the island as it appears from the ocean when it is fog-bound. Now it is a tourist destination and summer colony, but it was, in the the first half of the 19th century, an important center of the whaling industry. The ever-shifting battalion of sandbars, or shoals, lurking beneath the waters that surround the island have caused between 700 and 800 shipwrecks in recorded history.
On the island were built three lighthouses. For those who arrive on Nantucket via ferry, the Brant Point Light is the little wooden welcome that ushers folks to the island. First erected in 1746, it is America's second oldest lighthouse, and, with only 7.9m tall, the shortest lighthouse in all of New England. It has the distinction of being the tenth light on the point. Four of the others burned or blew down, two were condemned, two were unsatisfactory, and the remaining one stands unused.
On the grounds of the Coast Guard station on Brant Point, home to the 1856 lighthouse, is a pair of range lights used to guide vessels into Nantucket Harbor. These tall range lights were placed in operation July 1908, when the Nantucket Cliff Range Lights were discontinued. At the northernmost point of the island out past Wauwinet, within the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Reserve, is the most powerful light in New England, the Great Point Lighthouse, about which I wrote here.
The Sankaty Head Light is a brick-and-granite structure built in 1850, sits 21m tall at the easternmost point of the island, in the village of Siasconset, where the shoals had a long history as a hazard to navigation. The name of this lighthouse is derived from the language of the Native Americans who lived on Nantucket, the Wampanoags. Their word "sankoty" means highland, and even erosion hasn't changed the appropriateness of that name.
About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a series featuring 10 images from vintage flower seed packets, about which I wrote here. The second is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here. The third is part of the definitives series American Design, about which I wrote here,
Nantucket Lighthouses - Nantucket.net
Brant Point Light - Wikipedia
Brant Point (Old) - Lighthouse Friends
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 29.01.2014
Photo:Thomas H. Mitchell and John Penrod