Lighthouses in America are still serving their original purpose -- navigational aids for ships at sea, especially during storms. Furthermore, they typify the beauty and colorful history of the nation's lighthouses popularized in books, movies and television.
The U.S. Post Office continues its series of lighthouse stamps with the issuance of five new ones featuring lighthouses in the southeast area of the United States. These five structures are Old Cape Henry, Cape Lookout, Morris Island Lighthouse, Tybee Island Lighthouse and the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse.
Old Cape Henry is located on the grounds of Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va. It was the first lighthouse constructed by the U.S. government and began protecting the southern mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in 1792. It was replaced by a new lighthouse in 1881 and continued to be used as a navigational aid by vessels sailing around Cape Henry.
Cape Lookout Lighthouse is located on Core Banks along Cape Lookout National Seashore near Beaufort. N.C. It was activated in 1859, replacing a smaller tower established in 1812. The lighthouse warned ships of the dangerous hidden shoals near the cape. It became automated in 1950.
The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse was built in Detroit and was erected before being shipped in parts to its present location near Pompano Beach, Fla. It was reassembled and activated in 1907. Fully automated since 1974, its beam can be seen from a distance of more than 20 miles.
The new quintet of lighthouses will be issued by the Postal Service on June 13.