New Bedford Historical Walking Tour

History challenge/walking tour for middle school-aged students and up!

New Bedford Historical Walking Tour

New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740, United States

Created By: Katie Mannix

Tour Information

Take a tour of historic New Bedford, MA and learn about the city's famous past!

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Independent, tuition-free middle school for boys in grades 5-8.
Nathan and Mary "Polly" Johnson were free blacks who lived and worked in the city of New Bedford.  The Johnsons owned several properties and businesses, including a catering business and confectionary.  In addition, the Johnsons were info... Read more
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 J... Read more
Superior Court House was constructed in 1831.  The original architect was Russell Warren.  The court house was built as part of an effort to become a "half-shire town" - an effort that also included the construction of a jail.  The cour... Read more
William H. Carney was born a slave in Norfolk, Virginia in 1840.  His father, who escaped via the Underground Railroad, purchased the freedom of his son William and the boy's mother and moved the entire family ultimately to New Bedford. ... Read more
First erected as the New Bedford Free Public Library in 1858, the building known today as City Hall was designed by architect Solomon E. Keaton and completed in 1858.  Much of the library's initial collection came from private lenders and ... Read more
What is today New Bedford's Free Public Library was originally designed by Russell Warren and built in 1838 for the purpose of serving as a Town Hall and Market House.  The building was mixed use for many years - a place of commerce, discu... Read more
Constructed in 1836, the U.S. Custom House in New Bedford holds the distinction of being the oldest continual-use custom house in the nation and was designed by renowned architect Robert Mills.  Mills is credited with designing many of Was... Read more
Rodman Candleworks was built around 1815 and was erected for the purpose of producing highly valuable spermecetti candles.  The production of these candles was a well-guarded secret and required intense laboring.  Prior to the use of petr... Read more
The Double Bank Building was designed by Russell Warren and constructed in 1831 on Water Street.  The two banks housed on the site were actually built by two distinct builders, leading to slight variations in the way that the columns at th... Read more
Tallman Warehouse is the oldest building on Centre Street.  The land was purchased and the building constructed in 1790.  It's original owner, William Tallman, was involved in many areas of business and farming in the area and co-owned se... Read more
The Seamen's Bethel was built in 1832 by the Port Society.  The building functioned as a nondemonimational church - a place for sailors and whalemen to go to for 'moral improvement'.  Herman Melville visited the site prior to embarking on... Read more
What is today the Mariner's Home on Bethel Street was originally built in 1787 as the home of William Rotch Jr.  In 1951, Rotch's daughter, Sarah, donated the home to the New Bedford Port Society, which moved the home to its present locati... Read more
In 1915, Emily Howland Bourne financed the construction of the Whaling Museum to honor her father, whaling merchant Jonathan Bourne Jr.  Today, the museum houses the largest collection of whaling-related art and artifacts.   Informati... Read more


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