Created By: Katie Mannix
James Arnold began his career in New Bedford working for William Rotch Jr. in Rotch's counting house. Arnold went on to marry his employer's daughter Sarah and established himself as a successful merchant and philanthropist. Sarah and James built the Arnold mansion in 1821. The Arnolds were avid supporters of horticulture, as well; and the gardens of the estate were meticulously designed and made public - quite unusual for the time. Herman Melville visited the gardens during his time in New Bedford before embarking on the Acushnet in 1841. Four years after Rotch's death, a portion of the Arnold estate was gifted for the purpose of creating Arnold Arboretum - part of the "Emerald Necklace" of parks located in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1919, the Wamsutta Club purchased the Arnold estate and expanded the original mansion to its present form. The Club, which was originally formed as an athletic club, exists today as a private club for social use by its members and their guests.
Information courtesy A Picture History of New Bedford, Volume 1; The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University - http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/about/our-history/; The Wamsutta Club - http://www.wamsuttaclub.org/history.html
This point of interest is part of the tour: New Bedford Historical Walking Tour