Digest>Archives> November 2005

Wickie's Wisdom

By Timothy Harrison

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The clock is ticking and time is running out.

As far as we know, the men and women who served as lighthouse keepers or in other jobs in the United States Lighthouse Service are now all deceased.

However, there are still a number of descendants of these people still alive, but time is running out, even for them. We still have time to honor the men and women who served in the United States Lighthouse Service while some of their descendants are still alive.

We believe that a series of postage stamps must be produced that would feature the following:

- The original emblem/logo used which was a lighthouse with a wheat cluster

- The final emblem which was a round logo with a lighthouse

We also believe that there should be a series of stamps honoring some of the people who ran our nation's lighthouses. These would include: Stephen Pleasanton, the man who was in charge of our nation's lighthouses for 32 years and also the same man who saved the Declaration of Independence and other valuable government papers in the War of 1812; Rear Admiral William B. Shubrick, the first chairman of the U.S. Lighthouse Board and the man who had the Lighthouse Depot on Staten Island built; George Putnam, the first commissioner of the United States Lighthouse Service, who served from 1910 to 1935 and Harold D. King, the last commissioner of the U.S. Lighthouse Service who served from 1935 to 1939 when the Lighthouse Service was dissolved and merged into the Coast Guard.

Others who should be honored on postage stamps would be some of our famous lighthouse keepers such as Abbie Burgess, Elson Small, Ida Lewis, Fannie Salter, John Buckridge, Unaka Jennette, Joshua Strout, Julia Williams and others. We should also honor other famous lighthouse people such as Lighthouse Engineer Frederic Morong Jr. who wrote the poem “Brassworks,” Lighthouse Superintendent Charles Brush and Civil War hero Orlando Poe who built many lighthouses.

To take it one step further, we need a series of postage stamps that feature a number of our nation’s lightships that served where it was too expensive or too dangerous to build a lighthouse. Lightship duty was considered the most dangerous duty in the Lighthouse Service and the Coast Guard.

Send your letters requesting the above to:

Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee

Stamp Development

1735 North Lynn St. Room 5013

Arlington, VA 22209-6432

Only with your help can we make this a reality.

This story appeared in the November 2005 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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