U.S. # 4794
2013 46¢ Point Judith, Rhode Island
New England Coastal Lighthouses
Point Judith, Rhode Island, marks the entrance to Narragansett Bay and Block Island Sound. Over the years, frequent fog and a dangerous underwater ledge had led to loss of life and ships. Then in 1810, a lighted wooden tower was built to aid in navigating the treacherous waters.
A hurricane destroyed the wooden tower in 1815, and a sturdier stone building was constructed in its place. The light allowed numerous vessels to travel safely around the point. In 1907 alone, over 22,000 ships passed by during the daylight hours and about twice that many at night.
During World War II, one of those passing boats was the SS Black Point on its way to Boston. A German U-Boat was also in the water and fired on the Black Point. The doomed cargo ship sank two miles from the lighthouse. The U.S. Navy quickly sank the U-Boat. These were some of the last vessels lost in the Atlantic before Germany surrendered.
The lighthouse at Point Judith remains an active aid to navigation, and the surrounding waters are lit by the same lamp that was installed in 1857. The Coast Guard now mans the station and handles about 170 search-and-rescues each year. For more than two centuries, the light and the keepers have ensured the safety of those who pass Point Judith’s shores.
Howard E. Paine and Greg Breeding used Howard Koslow’s original painting for the Point Judith Lighthouse stamp. Koslow’s paintings, based on modern photographs, have been used for all of the lighthouse stamps since the series began in 1990. His art has appeared on a number of other U.S. stamps since 1971.
Value: 46¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: July 13, 2013
First Day City: Narragansett, RI
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Method: Lithograph printing in sheets of 120 in 6 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11 x 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 16,200,000 stamps
Point Judith, as well as the other four lighthouses honored on the 2013 stamps, is one of the oldest in the U.S. and is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Other issues in the Lighthouse series include:
1990 Lighthouses (U.S. #2470-74)
1995 Great Lakes Lighthouses (U.S. #2969-73)
2003 Southeastern Lighthouses (U.S. #3787-91)
2007 Pacific Lighthouses (U.S. #4146-50)
2009 Gulf Coast Lighthouses (U.S. #4409-13)