The United States Postal Service issued Pacific Lighthouse stamps last June. This is the third in the lighthouse stamp series. The first two were Great Lakes Lighthouses in 1995 and Southeastern Lighthouses in 2003. All three sets have been painted by Howard Koslow.
Five Pacific Lighthouses have been honored for their historic role in guiding vessels safely through perilous waters: Diamond Head Light in Hawaii, Five Finger Light in Alaska, Grays Harbor Light in Washington, Umpqua River Light in Oregon, and St. George Reef Light in Northern California.
Diamond Head Lighthouse stands at the base of an extinct volcano on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Established in 1899, the original tower was replaced by a new lighthouse in 1917, which is still in use.
Five Finger Lighthouse stands on a small island south of Juneau and was constructed of wood in 1902. Although destroyed by fire in 1933, it was rebuilt two years later in a new concrete Art Deco-style tower. It was automated in 1984.
At 107 feet, Grays Harbor Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the state of Washington. Dedicated in 1898, it stands near Westport Light State Park, where its distinctive red and white beams continue to mark the entrance to Grays Harbor.
Located south of Reedsport, Oregon, the first Umpqua River Lighthouse collapsed in 1864 and a new one was built on higher ground 30 years later. It continues to send its light 21 miles out to sea while flashing two white beams and one red.
Perched on an exposed rock 6 miles off the coast of Northern California near Crescent City, St. George Reef Lighthouse took 10 years to build. From 1892 until its deactivation in 1975, its light warned vessels away from the reef hidden beneath the surface.
Check with your local post office to purchase the stamps. (www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/2007stamps)
Oregon Coast July/August 2007