HIGHLANDS – The Twin Lights, the lighthouse that has been “the first” in a variety of historic adventures, will recognize another first, its first 2021 first class postage stamp as part of the US Post Office’s new Mid-Atlantic Lighthouse Forever Stamps, with a ceremony at noon Friday at the Twin Lights Museum, 2 Lighthouse Rd.
The following day, Aug. 7, is National Lighthouse Day and the new stamps will be available in post offices following the first day of cancellation in Highlands on Aug. 6.
Recognized formally as the Navesink Lighthouse and not the Twin Lights of Highlands, the original structure was built in 1828 when the area was part of the Township of Middletown; the borough of Highlands was not incorporated and separated from Middletown until 1900.
Congress appropriated funds for the lights on May 18, 1826, allowing two and three quarters acres to be purchased from Nimrod Woodward for $600. Instead of a single tower, two octagonal ones, constructed of blue split stone and separated by 320 feet, were built on the summit by Charles Smith of Stonington, Connecticut who also built the dwelling between them, for the cost of $8,440. David Melville of Newport, Rhode Island supplied the necessary lamps and reflectors for $1,850. When Keeper Joseph Doty first lit the Twin Lights of Navesink, the north tower exhibited a fixed, white light and the south tower a flashing, white light.
Dedicating official for the event is Linda Malone, vice president of engineering systems for the Postal Service. Shawn LaTourette, NJ Commissioner of Environmental Protection, will represent the state at the event.
The Mid-Atlantic Lighthouse stamps highlight five different lighthouses on five different stamps in the collection, and completes the post office series of lighthouses.
In addition to the Twin Lights, one of only seven stations in the country with two lighthouse towers, the other four lighthouses represented in the series are the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse in Delaware, which stands at the mouth of the Delaware Bay near Lewes, Delaware, the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse in Maryland, in the Chesapeake Bay, named a National Historic Landmark in 1999, and the only cottage-style, screw-pile lighthouse still operating in its original location dating to the 1870s, Montauk Point Lighthouse in New York, located adjacent to Montauk Point State Park at the easternmost point of Long Island, a 111 foot tall sandstone structure built in 1796, and the Eric Harbor Pierhead Light in Presque Isle Bay in Pennsylvania, one of the oldest lighthouses still operating in the country and a lighthouse authorized by George Washington and completed in 1796.
The previous Lighthouse stamps featured New England, Pacific Coast, Gulf Coast and other regional lighthouses in the series which started in the last part of the 20th century.
Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, calling 844-737-7826, through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide. Information on ordering first-day-of-issue postmarks and covers is at usps.com/shop.