BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
The Great American Stamp Show being held at the Hunting Convention Center in Cleveland on Aug. 10-13 will have stamp lovers checking out new stamp designs from around the world, including the new stamps from the extremely unique Rattlesnake Island Local Post.
It has been the quest of Postmaster General Dave Gill of Port Clinton to make philatelic history by relaunching the historic Rattlesnake Island Post that originally started in 1966. It put the spotlight on Rattlesnake Island, a small private resort island on Lake Erie just west of the popular Bass Islands and Put-in-Bay.
Gill has been behind the creation of stamps with new designs by Beth Gregerson of Fairport Harbor. They will be featured on the Great American Stamp Show’s main stage on Friday, Aug. 11 at 3 p.m.
The stamps feature the Miller Ferry Line, Jet Express and Ken Gill Construction commercial vessels.
Rattlesnake Island has had a unique postal history as the tiny island is the only local postal operation in the U.S. that utilizes air service to carry mail to and from a specific locale.
For 60 years Rattlesnake Island has embraced the only local post service in the country. In 1996, after years of petitions to the U.S. Post Office Department to reinstate it, mail is again being delivered to the diminutive island after Dr. James Freckelton took up the cause and created Rattlesnake Island Local Post.
The Rattlesnake Island Local Post is now responsible for carrying mail to and from Rattlesnake Island by Griffing Airlines of Port Clinton.
“It is unique, and a part of our history of the Lake Erie Islands area,” said Gill, who will be at The Great American Stamp Show with stamp designer Beth Gregerson of Fairport Harbor.
The show, which has not been in the Cleveland area since 1999, will be open on Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m.- 4p.m. More than 80 dealers will be offering items to collectors of all levels.
Sponsored by the American Philatelic Society, American Tropical Association and the American First Day Cover Society, The Great American Stamp Show is the premier event each year for stamp buffs, and offers free admission.