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Taken from News Pages
Sand Island Lighthouse To Be Part Of New Series Of Stamps
Tuesday, December 30, 2008

(Click for enlargement)
Sand Island Lighthouse, the 135-year-old tower at the entrance of Mobile Bay, will be featured on a U.S. Postal Service stamp next year, officials said Monday.
It's one of five Gulf Coast lighthouses
selected for a commemorative collection slated to be released in the summer. Paintings of lighthouses at Matagorda Island, Texas; Sabine Pass, La.; Biloxi; and Fort Jefferson, Fla., will also be part of the 42-cent stamp collection.

"Hopefully, these stamps will bring attention to these lighthouses and the efforts behind them to keep them alive," said Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders.

Sand Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1873, has survived decades of damage from salty waves, erosion and hurricanes. The island it was named after eroded away and migrated westward on the currents. Today, the lighthouse stands alone in the water on its original wood pilings and rock foundation, a few miles from Dauphin Island.

Earlier this year, repairs were made to the base of the lighthouse to stabilize the structure and keep it from collapsing into the Gulf of Mexico. Experts have said it would take millions of dollars to restore the tower fully and make it accessible to tourists, and fundraising efforts are under way.

"I think it will get us some really good exposure ... get the word out that Sand Island Lighthouse even exists," Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said of the stamp.

The 126-foot-tall lighthouse was deactivated by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1933. It was held by the federal government until Dauphin Island, in partnership with the Alabama Lighthouse Association, took ownership in 2003.

Artist Howard Koslow of New Jersey painted images of each of the five featured lighthouses for the stamp collection.

The Postal Service on Monday released a preview of stamps it will issue in 2009, which will also include images of America's kelp forests, the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood, and a collection of U.S. Supreme Court justices.

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