Goals of the Lighthouse Passport Program
- Provide a vehicle for lighthouses and other participating locations to obtain donations to continue their preservation, restoration or educational efforts. Each stamp received should be accompanied by a minimum of a one dollar donation.
- Act as an educational tool by encouraging the use of the Passport Club and USLHS websites to learn more about lighthouses and maritime history.
- Provide a chronological pictorial journal of lighthouse visits.
- Act as an incentive for collectors, young and old, to learn more about lighthouses and their role in American maritime history. This includes the recognition awards provided by the Passport Club.
- Add to the excitement and fun of visiting lighthouses and encouraging participating in lighthouse events, festivals, challenges and tours.
Remember to always provide at least $1 donation for each stamp you receive
Participating location hours/days of opening:
Many participating locations are only open seasonally. In addition, the days and hours of the week they are open may be limited by the availability of volunteers. It is strongly suggested that you call or check the location’s website to determine their hours of opening.
Obtaining stamp images via mail:
There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to obtain a stamp when you visit a participating location. Two of the most common are that the location is closed or the stamp has been misplaced. Some locations are willing to provide you with a copy of the stamp via mail upon request. However, many cannot provide this service, so be sure and contact them before making any request. If they indicate they can provide the stamp, send them a:
- Photograph you took of the lighthouse indicating when you visited
- Minimum of a $1 donation (more is better)
- Self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for them to return the stamp to you.
We strongly suggest that you do not send for the stamp without prior contact to make sure they can comply with your request.
The USLHS Passport Program is designed for lighthouses located in the United States. However, there are some exceptions since some international locations (including Canada) have a stamp depicting or identifying their lighthouse. These will be accepted but photographs of lighthouses outside of the United States cannot be used toward any of the achievement awards.
Multiple stamps for the same location:
Some locations will have more than one stamp, each with a different design, for the same lighthouse. This commonly occurs when they have both a locally produced stamp as well as a Society stamp. You may include multiple stamps in your Passport as long as the stamp provides an image and name of the lighthouse. All these stamps count toward a “stamp only” book. In addition, some lighthouses have different stamps that are available at multiple locations (e.g. one at the lighthouse and another one at a local visitor's center). Once again, they can be included IF they depict and identify the lighthouse.
Passport entries that qualify for the Lighthouse Passport Achievement Awards
Entries you may use to complete your passport book include:
- U.S. Lighthouse Society stamps available at participating locations. These locations can be a lighthouse, maritime museum, Life Saving Station, Coast Guard Station or other nearby location (e.g. Retail outlet, Chamber of Commerce, Town Hall, etc.).
- Society stamps held at headquarters for lighthouses for which stamps have been created but no permanent location has been found to house them. Currently this includes stamps from Hawaii, Isle Royale and Texas. These stamps are available upon request (see “Obtaining stamp images via mail”)
- Locally produced lighthouse stamps with an image and name of the lighthouse.
- A National Park Service cancellation stamp which identifies the lighthouse (e.g. Cape Hatteras).
- Special stamps produced for lighthouses visited on tours conducted by the U.S. Lighthouse Society. These are only available to tour participants.
- A photograph of the light you took, reduced in size to fit into the passport book square, along with the date that you visited the lighthouse. However, photos of international lighthouses will not be counted. Since a major purpose of the program is to generate donations, we ask you get as many stamps as possible and limit the number of photos.
In order to qualify for the “Stamp Only” Achievement Award, a passport cannot contain any photographs - only stamps as listed above.
Obtaining your achievement awards (Patches, Wings & All Stamp Flags)
In order to obtain your achievement awards and be listed in our Hall of Fame, each Passport must contain 60 entries. If you are not able to fit four stamps on each page, use the blank pages in the back of the book to complete this requirement. There are several ways for you to obtain your awards:
- Make a photocopy of the pages and mail to: USLHS Passport Program, 9005 Point No Point Rd, NE, Hansville, WA 98340 (No return postage required).
- Scan the images and email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mail your Passport (same address as in #1) and include $4 for return postage. It is recommended that you obtaining a tracking number when you mail it to the office. Include an email address to receive an acknowledgement that we received your passport.
Limited availability stamps:
- Some stamps are available only under certain conditions. This may occur with commercial lighthouse cruises, lighthouses that have converted into B&B’s or lighthouses that are only accessible on certain occasions. As such, these stamps are not available via mail or without participating in the manner described in the location’s listing on the passport website (e.g. take the cruise, stay at the B&B, etc.). In some cases, other locations have different stamps for the same lighthouses providing another opportunity to obtain a stamp for that site. These are also clearly identified on the website.
- Special stamps are made for lighthouses visited on USLHS tours that are not currently part of the Passport Program. These stamps are available only to the individuals who participate in the tour.
- Each holiday season the Society creates a stamp that uses the image of that year’s holiday ornament. These are only available by donating to the fundraiser.
Locations that do not accept donations:
While one of the major goals of the Passport Program is to generate donations to assist lighthouses, not all locations are able to accept them. Examples include National Park sites, local visitor’s centers, retail stores and chambers of commerce. Our suggestion is to leave an extra dollar at the next lighthouse you visit. That way you are still contributing to lighthouse preservation!
Always Check the Website listings for the most up to date information about stamp availability before planning trips or sending a request for a stamp by mail