1935 6¢ Crater Lake
Special Printing – Issued Imperforate without Gum
Issue Date: March 15, 1935
First City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 1,647,696
Located in the caldera (large crater) of Mt. Mazama, Crater Lake has a maximum depth of 1,932 feet. It is the second-deepest lake in North America.
Crater Lake National Park
Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park was established on May 22, 1902. It’s America’s fifth-oldest national park, the only national park in Oregon, and is home to the deepest lake in the country – Crater Lake.
Crater Lake was once an enormous volcano called Mount Mazama. It began forming 400,000 years ago, around the same time as the rest of the Cascade volcanic range. Mount Mazama’s frequent eruptions caused it to grow to a height of 11,000 feet, until around 5700 BC.
Geologists estimate it was around this time that a major eruption took place, causing Mount Mazama to implode. The volcano had erupted with a blast 42 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The top 5,000 feet of volcano collapsed, and the bottom was sealed by lava flows. A massive caldera (crater) was left behind and filled with about 4.6 trillion gallons rainwater and snowmelt over the course of about 740 years, creating Crater Lake.
Local Native American tribes witnessed Mount Mazama’s collapse and included it in their legends. The Klamath Indians believed that Crater Lake was the home of the spirits and that the lake’s waters had healing qualities.
The lake first became known to non-natives on June 12, 1853. Three gold prospectors found the long, sloping mountain while searching for food. They were surprised by the lake’s vibrant blue color and named it Deep Blue Lake. The site where they first laid eyes on the lake became known as Discovery Point. However, the search for gold held higher priority for the settlers at the time and the discovery was largely forgotten. In time, it came to be called Crater Lake.
William Gladstone Steel is credited as one of the park’s greatest champions. He first came to the lake in 1870 and spent the rest of his life and fortune in efforts to make Crater Lake a national park. He encouraged scientific lake surveys and named many of the surrounding landmarks, including Wizard Island, Llao Rock, and Skell Head.
In 1886, Steel worked with geologist Clarence Dutton in organizing a US Geological Service expedition of the lake. Their team carried a half-ton survey boat up the crater’s steep slopes to get it to the lake. Aboard the boat, they lowered a piece of pipe attached to a piano wire down into the water to measure the lake’s depth at 168 different spots. The deepest point they found, 1,996 feet, came very close to the modern officially recognized depth of 1,949 feet, which was found by sonar. During this expedition, a topographer also made the first professional map of the area. Steel’s expedition and extensive lobbying efforts paid off on May 22, 1902, when President Theodore Roosevelt established Crater Lake as America’s fifth national park.
Crater Lake is known for the clarity, purity, and intense blue color of its water. The lake is six miles across at its widest point and covers twenty square miles. Because the lake is so deep, its temperature remains fairly constant throughout the year. It rarely freezes over and makes for striking views in all four seasons. Visitors can see clearly 134 feet into its depths. Today Crater Lake is the second-deepest lake in North America and the ninth-deepest in the world. It is surrounded by miles of unbroken cliffs ranging from over five hundred to nearly two thousand feet in height.
One neat feature of Crater Lake is the “Old Man of the Lake.” The “Old Man” is a 30-foot-tall tree stump that has been bobbing vertically in the lake since it was first noticed in 1896. The “Old Man” wanders around – it has been found floating in all parts of the lake. Geologists have tracked its movements all over the lake, and boaters report its location, for both reasons of safety and curiosity.
Find pictures, history and more at Crater Lake’s official website.
What are Farley’s Follies?
Farley’s Follies is one of stamp collecting’s most interesting stories. And since most of the stamps are readily available and inexpensive, it’s easy enough to put a specialized collection together. Let’s step back in time and discover one of the Postal Service’s biggest scandals…
James A. Farley (1888-1976) got his start in politics in 1911 as town clerk of Grassy Point, New York. He moved his way through the political system, forming the Upstate New York Democratic Organization and bringing many upstate voters to the Democratic party. In 1924, he met young Franklin Roosevelt at the Democratic National Convention. Four years later, FDR asked Farley to run his campaign for New York governor. Farley helped FDR win the elections for governor in 1928 and 1930. A driving force in the US political system, Farley helped FDR win the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections. Roosevelt made Farley his Postmaster General. Farley was pivotal in turning around the US Post Office Department. He helped the department finally turn a profit and revolutionized airmail service.
The infamous “Farley’s Follies” controversy began in 1933 when Farley removed several stamp sheets from the printing presses before they were gummed or perforated. He autographed these sheets (which were not available to the public) and gave them to colleagues and family, creating precious philatelic rarities. Stamp collectors were outraged when they discovered what had happened. Finally, the Post Office came up with a solution – the reissue in sheet form of all the stamps issued since March 4, 1933, in ungummed condition, all but the first two imperforate and in sufficient numbers to satisfy public demand. Although Farley and FDR had a falling out over Roosevelt’s plan to run for a third term, Farley remained a strong force in the political and business worlds. He went on to serve as Chairman of the Board of the Coca-Cola Export Corporation and served as a trusted advisor to several Popes, dignitaries, and Presidents until his death in 1976.
Farley’s Follies are Scarce and Valuable Collectibles
The British stamp firm Gibbons reportedly declared the reprint was “nauseous prostitution,” and at first refused to list the issues in their famous stamp catalog! But even today, over 80 years after they were issued, collectors still love Farley’s Follies.
“Farley’s Follies” were issued in large sheets that are way too big to fit in stamp albums. So smart collectors snapped up blocks and pairs in a variety of formats instead. They not only fit, but these key formats are an easy way to understand the stamp printing process.
Mystic purchased full sheets of these mint stamps and made them available in scarce formats like vertical, horizontal and gutter pairs plus arrow blocks, line pairs and cross gutter blocks. All are hard to find – some occur only once in every stamp sheet. It’s a neat way to own a scandalous slice of US postal history.