#3220 – 1998 32c Spanish Settlement of the South

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U.S. #3220
1998 32¢ Spanish Settlement

Issue Date: March 19, 1998
City: New York, NY
Quantity: 250,000,000
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
Die Cut 11.3
Color: Multicolored
 
In 1598, Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate created the first European road in America – El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro – linking Mexico City to Spain’s northern territories in New Mexico. Later he established the first European settlement at San Gabriel.  Built along the Rio Grande, this earliest of Spanish communities is a short distance from present-day Española. Oñate’s settlement predated the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia by nine years.
 
 After settling in New Mexico, Oñate assumed the governorship until he fell out of favor with the Spanish government and resigned in 1607. The settlement at San Gabriel served as New Mexico’s first capital, until it was moved to Santa Fe in 1609. Santa Fe is still considered the oldest seat of government in the United States.
 
La Misión de San Miguel de San Gabriel, featured on the 1998 U.S. postage stamp, is fashioned after the original chapel built by colonists in 1598. Excavators discovered stone footings that were believed to be the chapel’s outline, but all other details of the building were unknown. For the first settlers, the chapel served as a place to hold religious services, as well as a gathering place. Today it is a community center.
 

Arches National Park

2016 Arches National Park stamp
US #5080h – from the 2016 National Parks Centennial issue

Arches National Monument was established on April 12, 1929.  Made into a national park in 1971, its home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.  That makes it the highest density of natural arches in the world.

The story of the park’s famous arches begins some 300 million years ago, when the area was covered in water.  Below the water, a salt bed built up.  After the sea evaporated, millions of years of debris built up on top of the salt bed, eroded and was blown over from a nearby uplift.  Eventually, the weight of all the rock on the surface caused the salt bed below to turn to liquid.  The liquid then pushed up layers of rock, turning them into salt domes.

1998 Spanish Settlement of the South stamp
US #3220 – Part of the Old Spanish Trail runs through Arches National Park.

As erosion wore away top layers of rock, water seeped into cracks, joints, and folds.  When temperatures dropped, ice formed, the rock expanded, and pieces broke off.  Wind and water then took their toll on these “fins,” causing several to collapse.  However, many survived, losing their middle section in the process, leaving the arches which remain today.  The effects that formed these arches continue to work today, so each one is only temporary and will someday crumble.

1947 Utah Centennial stamp
US #950 – Members of Brigham Young’s Mormon Church were the first to attempt a permanent settlement at Arches.

Some of the earliest visitors to the area now known as Arches National Park were hunter-gatherers, arriving about 10,000 years ago at the end of an Ice Age.  About 2,000 years ago, nomadic hunters, known as ancestral Puebloans, settled in the Four Corners area and may have lived seasonally near the arches.  As they began to leave the area about 700 years ago, they crossed paths with arriving Ute and Paiute, who then settled there.

1996 Utah Statehood stamp
US #3024 – Delicate Arch is pictured on this 1996 Utah statehood stamp.

The first Europeans to enter the area were the Spanish, around 1775.  They did interact with the Ute and Paiute, who likely helped them route parts of their Old Spanish Trail.  The first attempt at permanently settling the area came in June 1855.  A group of 41 Mormons built a fort to serve as the Elk Mountain Mission, trading with travelers and baptizing the natives.  However, conflicts with the Ute forced the missionaries to flee the area after just three months.  It would be over 20 years before the area was permanently settled by a mix of ranchers, prospectors, and farmers.

1996 Butte stamp
US #2902B – The park’s highest point is Elephant Butte at 5,653 feet.

Over the next few decades, the area around Arches continued to build up.  The town of Moab (of which the park is a part) was home to Loren “Bish” Taylor, one of the earliest proponents of establishing a national park there.  In 1911, at the age of 18, he took over the local newspaper and regularly published articles detailing the beauty and marvels of the nearby arches.

Over time, Taylor’s articles captured local attention, particularly prospector Alexander Ringhoffer.  In 1923, Ringhoffer convinced the Rio Grande Western Railroad that the area could be a tourist destination, which would mean more customers for their railroad.  With their support, the campaign for Arches National Park began.  Researchers visited the area to decide if it was worthy of park protection.

1977 Talking Pictures stamp
US #1727 – More than 40 movies have been filmed in the Arches area including Stagecoach, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

With the researchers’ approval, Herbert Hoover established Arches National Monument on April 12, 1929.  The monument consisted of about 4,500 acres in two sections.  Though the area was protected, little was done to develop it until nine years later.  President Franklin Roosevelt signed a proclamation expanding the monument to include several more scenic features.  Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps established their camp in Arches in March 1940.  Though they were only there a few short years, they completed several large projects.  However, their work was quickly brought to a halt after the US entered World War II.  Their camp was one of the last in the nation closing in March 1942.

2014 Arches National Park quarter
Item #CNUTAP25D – Arches National Park Quarter from the Denver Mint

After the war, work resumed at Arches, particularly when Bates Wilson took over as custodian and superintendent in 1949.  He helped improve the park’s roads, campgrounds, and visitors center.  In 1969, Lyndon B. Johnson expanded the park dramatically.  And on November 12, 1971, President Richard Nixon established Arches as a national park.

Find out more about the park at its website.

 
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U.S. #3220
1998 32¢ Spanish Settlement

Issue Date: March 19, 1998
City: New York, NY
Quantity: 250,000,000
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
Die Cut 11.3
Color: Multicolored
 
In 1598, Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate created the first European road in America – El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro – linking Mexico City to Spain’s northern territories in New Mexico. Later he established the first European settlement at San Gabriel.  Built along the Rio Grande, this earliest of Spanish communities is a short distance from present-day Española. Oñate’s settlement predated the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia by nine years.
 
 After settling in New Mexico, Oñate assumed the governorship until he fell out of favor with the Spanish government and resigned in 1607. The settlement at San Gabriel served as New Mexico’s first capital, until it was moved to Santa Fe in 1609. Santa Fe is still considered the oldest seat of government in the United States.
 
La Misión de San Miguel de San Gabriel, featured on the 1998 U.S. postage stamp, is fashioned after the original chapel built by colonists in 1598. Excavators discovered stone footings that were believed to be the chapel’s outline, but all other details of the building were unknown. For the first settlers, the chapel served as a place to hold religious services, as well as a gathering place. Today it is a community center.
 

Arches National Park

2016 Arches National Park stamp
US #5080h – from the 2016 National Parks Centennial issue

Arches National Monument was established on April 12, 1929.  Made into a national park in 1971, its home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.  That makes it the highest density of natural arches in the world.

The story of the park’s famous arches begins some 300 million years ago, when the area was covered in water.  Below the water, a salt bed built up.  After the sea evaporated, millions of years of debris built up on top of the salt bed, eroded and was blown over from a nearby uplift.  Eventually, the weight of all the rock on the surface caused the salt bed below to turn to liquid.  The liquid then pushed up layers of rock, turning them into salt domes.

1998 Spanish Settlement of the South stamp
US #3220 – Part of the Old Spanish Trail runs through Arches National Park.

As erosion wore away top layers of rock, water seeped into cracks, joints, and folds.  When temperatures dropped, ice formed, the rock expanded, and pieces broke off.  Wind and water then took their toll on these “fins,” causing several to collapse.  However, many survived, losing their middle section in the process, leaving the arches which remain today.  The effects that formed these arches continue to work today, so each one is only temporary and will someday crumble.

1947 Utah Centennial stamp
US #950 – Members of Brigham Young’s Mormon Church were the first to attempt a permanent settlement at Arches.

Some of the earliest visitors to the area now known as Arches National Park were hunter-gatherers, arriving about 10,000 years ago at the end of an Ice Age.  About 2,000 years ago, nomadic hunters, known as ancestral Puebloans, settled in the Four Corners area and may have lived seasonally near the arches.  As they began to leave the area about 700 years ago, they crossed paths with arriving Ute and Paiute, who then settled there.

1996 Utah Statehood stamp
US #3024 – Delicate Arch is pictured on this 1996 Utah statehood stamp.

The first Europeans to enter the area were the Spanish, around 1775.  They did interact with the Ute and Paiute, who likely helped them route parts of their Old Spanish Trail.  The first attempt at permanently settling the area came in June 1855.  A group of 41 Mormons built a fort to serve as the Elk Mountain Mission, trading with travelers and baptizing the natives.  However, conflicts with the Ute forced the missionaries to flee the area after just three months.  It would be over 20 years before the area was permanently settled by a mix of ranchers, prospectors, and farmers.

1996 Butte stamp
US #2902B – The park’s highest point is Elephant Butte at 5,653 feet.

Over the next few decades, the area around Arches continued to build up.  The town of Moab (of which the park is a part) was home to Loren “Bish” Taylor, one of the earliest proponents of establishing a national park there.  In 1911, at the age of 18, he took over the local newspaper and regularly published articles detailing the beauty and marvels of the nearby arches.

Over time, Taylor’s articles captured local attention, particularly prospector Alexander Ringhoffer.  In 1923, Ringhoffer convinced the Rio Grande Western Railroad that the area could be a tourist destination, which would mean more customers for their railroad.  With their support, the campaign for Arches National Park began.  Researchers visited the area to decide if it was worthy of park protection.

1977 Talking Pictures stamp
US #1727 – More than 40 movies have been filmed in the Arches area including Stagecoach, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

With the researchers’ approval, Herbert Hoover established Arches National Monument on April 12, 1929.  The monument consisted of about 4,500 acres in two sections.  Though the area was protected, little was done to develop it until nine years later.  President Franklin Roosevelt signed a proclamation expanding the monument to include several more scenic features.  Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps established their camp in Arches in March 1940.  Though they were only there a few short years, they completed several large projects.  However, their work was quickly brought to a halt after the US entered World War II.  Their camp was one of the last in the nation closing in March 1942.

2014 Arches National Park quarter
Item #CNUTAP25D – Arches National Park Quarter from the Denver Mint

After the war, work resumed at Arches, particularly when Bates Wilson took over as custodian and superintendent in 1949.  He helped improve the park’s roads, campgrounds, and visitors center.  In 1969, Lyndon B. Johnson expanded the park dramatically.  And on November 12, 1971, President Richard Nixon established Arches as a national park.

Find out more about the park at its website.