BERLIN – Fans of Assateague Island National Seashore will have a chance to show their support in 2015 through the purchase of vintage notecards reprinted in honor of the park’s 50th anniversary.
In January, vintage notecards featuring scenes from throughout the island will go on sale to benefit the national park, which was established in 1965. The cards are reprints of those sent out decades ago by Mabel and Churchill Hungerford, owners of one of the last active homes on the island.
“We thought people would be as enamored with the images as we were,” said Ashlie Kozlowski, outreach coordinator for Assateague Island Alliance (AIA). “They’re special.”
She said the Hungerfords, owners of a New Jersey-based company that built water treatment systems, made trips to their second home on Assateague Island weekly in the 1960s and 1970s. Each year, they commissioned an artist to paint their Christmas card with a scene showcasing Assateague and the activities the family enjoyed there. One card showed Santa Claus interacting with one of the park’s wild horses. Another depicted him decorating a Christmas tree amid a flock of geese.
“There are a lot of different ones,” Kozlowski said.
Although the artist behind the images is unknown, many of the cards are now in the personal collection of Allen Sklar, a local resident and park enthusiast.
“He has given us permission to reprint them,” Kozlowski said.
AIA will reprint 12 of the cards to be sold at Assateague Island Visitor Center and online at www.assateagueislandalliance.org. The cards will be sold in eight-card packages, each including four different designs. One set will feature Christmas scenes and one will include more general holiday scenes. The third set will be made up of scenes depicting driftwood in the shape of animals, one of the Hungerford family’s interests.
“They depict Assateague’s rich history,” Kozlowski said. “We thought people would connect with them.”
The price for the cards has not yet been set but Kozlowski said AIA members would receive a 15 percent discount.
The money raised through the sale of the notecards will be used by the friends group to fund various programs at the park. Kozlowski said money AIA raises help fund everything from resource management to public programs.
“All of our efforts go toward supporting the budget of Assateague Island National Seashore,” she said. “We’re a funding source for them that’s especially important in this time of budget cuts.”