Postal service releases Boston Light commemorative stamp

The US Postal Service today released a Forever stamp depicting Boston Light, the first lighthouse in the country, along with stamps honoring four other New England lighthouses. “Lighthouses have different meanings for different people. It means hope, it means ‘the light,’ ” said Sally Snowman, who has served as the keeper of Boston Light since 2003. “It also has a very important role as a navigational aide. ... Now that it’s a stamp, the federal government has acknowledged it as an important piece of history.” The stamp was unveiled in a ceremony on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway this morning. Little Brewster Island, where the lighthouse is located, was too small and not easily accessible enough to host the ceremony, organizers said. The four other stamps in the set depict the Portland Head lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine; Portsmouth Harbor in New Castle, N.H.; Point Judith in Narragansett, R.I.; and New London Harbor in New London, Conn. Boston Light is the only federally funded manned lighthouse in the country. It was built in 1716 and destroyed three times during the Revolutionary war—twice by American revolutionaries, once by retreating British forces in 1776—and rebuilt in 1783. With 82 million stamps at 46 cents apiece, the postal service expects to generate about $37.7 million, said George B. Flood, a postal service spokesman. Commemorative stamps tend to generate more interest than the run-of-the-mill Liberty Bell Forever stamps, said Tom Costin Jr., who served as Lynn’s postmaster for more than 30 years. “This is one of the best programs that the postmaster ever started,” he said. “You get so many people interested in collecting stamps, because they tell a story.” Snowman said she will use up the stamps depicting the other four New England lighthouses, but save the Boston Light stamps for 2016, 300 years after the original Boston Light was built. “Whoever I send that stamp to ... it’s going to have a very special meaning,” she said.

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