Created By: New Bedford Preservation Society
North Bedford Historic District
The North Bedford Historic District consists of lands north of Kempton Street, south of Clasky Park and between County Street and Purchase Street. In the early 1800’s, North Bedford was physically separated from the commercial activity of the original town by the holdings of the Kempton family. The upper reaches of the Acushnet River became the shipbuilding center of Old Dartmouth, and the first homeowners who came to North Bedford were the craftsmen who served this industry. Those who built homes in the North Bedford area were likely to be coopers, spar makers, shipwrights or carpenters and to work in the shipbuilding industries on the waterfront north of the Fairhaven-New Bedford bridge.
In the 1830’s, Kempton Street was the only major east-west street in the area north of Bedford Village. It led from the waterfront up the hill and became Smith Mills Road just after it crossed County Street. This important intersection had been part of the original Kempton family holdings since the purchase of Dartmouth from the native Wampanoags in 1652. By the end of the nineteenth century, it had been long known as Kempton’s Corner.
Tour Curated by: Mark Fuller
Tour Produced by: Patricia Daughton
New Bedford Whaling Musuem
New Bedford Free Public Library
This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.