AP NEWS

Steamtown To Appear In National Parks Collectors’ Stamp Set

December 11, 2017

For the first time in the Steamtown National Historic Site’s 32 years, the park will appear on collectors’ stamps sold across the United States National Park System.

Distributed by Eastern National, the Passport To Your National Parks 2018 Regional Stamp Set — collected by many parks enthusiasts — now features Steamtown as its 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Stamp.

The historic site joins numerous parks featured on the stamps that stick inside Eastern National’s passports books.

“There are millions of frequent National Park visitors and we’re all about trying to get more people to visit our park,” said Ruth Giardina, Steamtown gift shop manager. “One way to encourage people is the passport.”

Giardina was instrumental in getting a Steamtown stamp.

The stamp features a photo by Steamtown volunteer James Benetzky that shows a steam engine pulling through the park’s turntable, a device used to turn trains. The park’s other engines can be seen in the background.

“It is a very dynamic photo and stood out from the rest” because the photo doesn’t feature typical landscape imagery, said Emily Geesaman, Eastern National marketing manager. “It’s a more action-oriented and compelling image that showcases this particular site.”

Passport books vary in size and color with the most common, a 104-page guidebook, mimicking the look of a United States passport. Its pages give detailed information about the National Park System while blank pages leave space to place the stamps and date cancellations found in most park book stores. Cancellations mark the date and name of the park visited.

Eastern National, a nonprofit which supports the National Park System by enhancing visitors experiences with educational products, releases new commemorative stamp sets every year. This is the first year Steamtown, which opened in 1986, the same year Eastern National started distributing the stamps, made the cut. Eastern National runs Steamtown’s gift shop.

Steamtown joins the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Biscayne National Park and Appalachian National Scenic Trail, among others, on the new 10-stamp set, which cost $4.95.

“It brings more awareness,” said Steamtown Superintendent Debbie Conway. “There are a lot of people who definitely have their national park passport wherever they go.”

Collectors often comb through previous year’s stamp sets in National Park Gift Shops to find certain parks for their passports. The historic site is among 417 units of the National Park System that includes major parks like the Grand Canyon, recreation areas and military parks.

For more details on the stamps and passport books, visit Eastern National on Facebook or easternnational.org or to purchase stamp sets, visit www.eparks.com. For more details on the Steamtown National Historic site, visit www.nps.gov/stea/

Contact the writer:

kbolus@timesshamrock.com

570-348-9100 x5114

@kbolusTT