2021 55¢ Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses – Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, Delaware
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 6, 2021
First Day City: Highlands, NJ
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000
The Harbor of Refuge Light (once known as the Harbor of Refuge West End Light) is a lighthouse built at the end of the outer Delaware Breakwater. It helps guide ships into the Harbor of Refuge at the mouth of the Delaware Bay off Cape Henlopen.
The Harbor of Refuge was created by act of Congress in 1825 to provide a safe haven for ships during storms and rough seas. The breakwater was completed in 1869, but later had to be expanded to accommodate larger ships. The breakwater was finally completed in 1901.
In order to help guide ships into the safe harbor, two temporary lighted beacons were put in place in 1902. Unfortunately, these beacons were destroyed in a storm after only a year. Work began on a permanent lighthouse in 1906. The structure was fully completed on November 20, 1908. However, even this lighthouse had difficulty standing up to big storm swells, and a new light was built November 15, 1926.
The Harbor of Refuge Light was automated in 1973, but remains an important piece of local history. Unfortunately, as of 2021, it is in danger of collapse. Over 100 years of storms have severely damaged the breakwater the light stands on. Hopefully, this beautiful lighthouse will be stabilized and preserved for generations to come.