- Digital Scholarship
- Summer 2015 Family Programs
- Portuguese Short Film Festival
- Members’ Trip to Porto, Portugal
- The Second Half: Fall Lecture Series
- Mindfulness for Busy People
- WJEC Grand Opening Celebrations
- Manhattan Short Film Festival
- Film Screening: "Most Likely to Succeed"
- The GAEA Summit
- Annual Family Activities
- Community Programs
- Annual Events
- Moby-Dick Marathon
- Past Programs
OLD DARTMOUTH HISTORICAL SKETCH
Being the proceedings of the Meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, New Bedford, on March 5, 1907.
by Hon. William W. Crapo
REMINISCENCES OF NEW BEDFORD
by Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D.
OLD DARTMOUTH AT HOME
by Leon M. Huggins
[Note.—The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.]
Proceedings of the Meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society
New Bedford, Massachusetts
March 5, 1907
New Bedford, Massachusetts
March 5, 1907
The 15th regular meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society was held at 8 o’clock Tuesday evening, March 5th, 1907, in their new building on Water Street, it being the first in their new home. There was a large attendance.
The President, William W. Crapo, presided. After a graceful introductory address, into which were worked recollections of the Van Buren-Harrison campaign of 1840, in which Capt. Daniel McKenzie took a prominent local part, President Crapo introduced the speaker of the evening. Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D., of Cambridge, a native of New Bedford and son of Captain Daniel.
Dr. McKenzie told delightful reminiscences of New Bedford in his boyhood. At the close of his address an informal reception was given him, and those present also enjoyed the Society’s new home with its treasures.
Introductory Address by the President
By Hon. William W. Crapo
The September meeting of the Society was held in this building through the courtesy of its owners. We meet here this evening in our own right. I hold in my hand the deed which conveys to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society the legal title to these premises. They come to us free from all encumbrances. No exacting landlord can evict us, no unrelenting mortgagee can enter for foreclosure. In the ancient language of the law, this is our castle into which we may bid our kindred and friends to enter and from which we may debar the unwelcome intruder.
It is the ambition of every well-meaning man to have a habitation that he can call his own where he may enjoy the privileges and comforts of a home. This ambition the Old Dartmouth Historical Society has realized in the possession of this attractive structure. Its possession prompts to further the purposes of our organization; it prompts to the continuance of the harmony and earnestness which thus far has marked the work of the Society and has brought to it signal success.
The childhood of the Society was passed in modest quarters where it grew and prospered, but the time came when the cradle was too small and the lusty youth was not content within its narrow limits. Full of vigor and energy the Society enters its new and spacious habitation resolved upon further achievements in gathering up the vanishing incidents in our early history and in rescuing from the embers of the past the stories of the men and women whose lives have enriched our local traditions.
The national and state historical associations are doing good work in reviewing the past and probing for facts, eliminating the errors and distortions which the passions and prejudices of contemporary writers have woven into their narratives, thereby gaining a clearer insight into the causes that have led to results and enabling the modern historian the more accurately to place the milestones along the highway of the world’s civilization.
Our mission is a more humble one. It is to snatch from the consuming tooth of time the record of Old Dartmouth’s earlier years and to preserve the names of the men and the women and their deeds who promoted the moral and social and industrial progress of this locality.
In doing this we shall in a measure pay the debt we owe to the past. In doing it we shall evoke the gratitude of the future.
The remark has been made that acting as your presiding officer I have fallen into the habit of indulging in reminiscences, personal and otherwise-perhaps so. Old men are prone to tell of what they saw and heard in the years before their listeners were born. But I venture to trespass once more since the presence of our friend who is to speak to us this evening brings to mind an incident of many, many, years ago which, perhaps, he may have forgotten and which will be new to many who are here.
It is in connection with the presidential election of 1840, in which William Henry Harrison was the Whig candidate for president and Martin Van Buren the Democratic candidate. It was the first political campaign of which I have personal knowledge, and you must not infer from this that I or my friend here voted at that election. We were debarred by disability of age or rather the lack of age.
But in a community no larger than was New Bedford sixty-seven years ago the small boys were keenly alive to whatever occurred that was unusual in its character. I have witnessed many presidential campaigns, but there are none which so impressed me for intensity of excitement and spectacular demonstration as did that of 1840.
A log cabin was erected in Fairhaven. Outside the cabin near the door as you entered was a cider barrel. I say cider barrel rather than barrel of cider since my memory is not distinct enough to be positive in such a matter of detail. The campaign throughout the country was called “The Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaign.” The rallying point for Whigs in New Bedford was a wooden building on the corner of Purchase and William Streets on the spot now occupied by the Merchants National Bank, which had recently been vacated by the Unitarians on the removal to their new church edifice on Union Street. The pews remained in the building and were occupied by those who attended the political gatherings. The pulpit had been removed and a platform place in its stead. I recall that at one of the earlier meetings I attended a discussion arose as to a proper designation to be given to this place of assembly. It was suggested that to issue a call in the Morning Mercury inviting the citizens of New Bedford and vicinity to a political rally to be held in the Meeting House on the corner of Purchase and William Streets, formerly occupied by the First Congregational Society of New Bedford, would be too lengthy and somewhat inappropriate. Hon. H. G. O. Colby, one of the leading lawyers of the town, made a humorous speech on the occasion in which he told of the Parthenon and the Coliseum and made many classical allusions, none of which did I understand, but all of which I thought extremely eloquent. Many names were suggested, but at last a motion was made to call the place the Forum and the motion was adopted. The campaign was one of oratory. Every week, sometimes two or three times during the week, there were meetings held in the Forum addressed by local speakers or those who came from abroad. Daniel Webster came and Edward Everett and Robert C. Northrop; Caleb Cushing; John C. Parks, a noted stump speaker, came from Boston; John Davis from Worcester; John Reed, who represented this district in Congress for more than twenty years, came from Barnstable; Ogden Hoffman and others came from New York. There was no brass band in those days to attract a crowd, but there was a singing club which attended every meeting. They sang of Tippecanoe and Tyler Too. They told us how Van, Van, was a Used-up Man; and how Maine Went, Hell-Bent, for Governor Kent.
But the feature which attracted much attention in this locality was in connection with what was called the Bunker Hill Convention. The Whigs of Massachusetts had issued a call inviting Whigs from all the states of the Union to a mass convention to be held on Bunker Hill in the month of September. The New England states sent many thousand delegates. New York and Pennsylvania and Ohio and states farther west sent delegates, and they came from Louisiana and Alabama and other southern states. The Massachusetts Whigs organized by counties. Bristol County sent 2,000 delegates under the leadership of John Henry Clifford as Chief Marshall. Of this number 200 were from Fairhaven, many more from New Bedford. Nantucket County sent 150 and Dukes County the same. This vast concourse of men assembled on Boston Common and there a procession was formed 45,000 strong which with bands of music and flags and banners and emblems and devices of many kinds marched to Bunker Hill where Daniel Webster read a declaration of Whig principles. In that procession New Bedford and Fairhaven had a number of banners, but the display which had the greatest interest for the people in this vicinity was a whale-boat. It was built by Shubael Coffin, then the leading boat builder of the town. It was mounted upon a gear or car painted green to represent the waves of the ocean. It had a complete outfit for the capture of a whale, the tub containing the coil of tow-line, the harpoons and lances, keg of water, the allowance of hard bread, the boat’s compass and a lantern. The boat had a full crew and every man of them was an experienced and popular whaling captain. Among them, if I remember right, was George H. Taber of Fairhaven. The crew seated on the thwarts of the boat extended their oars resting on the row-locks and on the blade of each oar in large letters was the name of some distinguished Whig. The steering oar bore the name of William Henry Harrison. Other oars had the names of Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and other prominent Whigs, who, it was thought, might be members of Harrison’s cabinet. The boat carried a banner on which was painted the picture of a try-pot in full operation, a blazing fire under it, and floating on the surface of the boiling pot were seen the heads of Martin Van Buren and Levi Woodbury of New Hampshire, then a member of Van Buren’s cabinet, and Marcus Morton, then Democratic Governor of Massachusetts. This banner had an inscription which read, “We Have Tried Them In Office. Now We Will Try Them Out.” It was a lurid picture but it represented the intense party feeling of that day.
When the time came to make the journey before taking the road to Boston the boat and its occupants passed through several streets of the town. It passed along Water Street where we now are and which was then the business center of New Bedford. The small boys watched every movement with eager curiosity.
The post of honor in that boat was held by the boatheader, the man with the steering-oar. That place was accorded to Captain Daniel McKenzie. As he stood erect in the stern of the boat with his hand on the steering oar a small boy looked upon him with awe and admiration; and why not? He was a man of commanding personality, of splendid physique, broad-shouldered and stalwart. He was an accomplished and successful whaling captain, and that was no mean title. He had the gift and power of leadership. He was a man of ready speech which was enlivened with wit and humor. He had an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes which he aptly applied in discussion and which made his conversation most entertaining. He was a big-hearted and broad-minded man. Later in life when he had retired from the sea I came to know him somewhat intimately and profited by his counsel.
I have spoken of Captain Daniel McKenzie. Let me say a word about his boy, and my friend will pardon me when I say that this is a family gathering, that we are sons and daughters of Old Dartmouth by birth or adoption, and that he is native born, and what might seem inappropriate and even impertinent in a promiscuous assembly would be allowed in the family circle around the fire-side.
Alec McKenzie, for that is what we called him in his youth, was somewhat slender in physique. He had a thoughtful face. He had gentle manners. He was a painstaking and conscientious student. He was exemplary in his conduct. I do not remember that he was ever engaged in a rough and tumble fight in the school-yard at recess. His genuine good nature and his abundant good sense made him a favorite. His comrades liked him. You know his subsequent career, how he has served his fellowmen in pointing out to them the way to heaven, enlightening, inspiring, encouraging them to higher purposes and a better life. I have spoken of his youth because I would have you know the kind of boys that New Bedford reared and educated seventy years ago.
Reminiscences of New Bedford
By Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D.
[From The Evening Standard, March 6, 1907]
“It is very pleasant to be here tonight. I have sometimes regretted passing out of the recollection of New Bedford, but a life like mine, centered around Harvard, is not full of incidents that are presented at a distance. But I am glad to be reminded that I have something of a name here that makes it worthwhile for me to come back.
“I have always been glad that I was born in New Bedford, and if I had to do it over again, I would like to be born on Johnnycake Hill, go to New Bedford schools, then go to Harvard, and wind up my life there.
“The mind of a boy who lives in a sea-port is broadened as he looks out to sea, and realizes that there is something beyond his own place. The boy is told of our mission to the heathen. When I was a boy, the heathen were the Kanakas who came here on the whaleships, and we understood that our mission was to change them into New Englanders, though we did not meet with very good success in doing it.
“A man born here and growing up would naturally be a broad-minded man. When he studied ethnology he would know that he had seen examples in the various types of foreigners who came here in the vessels.
“Another fine thing New Bedford raised is the noblest class of women that history presents. The wives of the whaling captains, when their husbands went on long cruises sometimes of three years’ duration, were strained to the utmost of their sympathy, left alone to care for their children, and bringing them up with wonderful judgment and courage that never failed.
“I remember the incident to which President Crapo has alluded, and to my father’s pride in his participation. When the president’s message was printed, my father set me to reading it to him, and whatever it was to him it certainly was not edifying to me.
“I have made my pleasant home for two days in the location where in my boyhood I used to dig sassafras root or pick boxberries.” (Dr. McKenzie’s reference was to the Charles H. L. Delano residence, at the corner of Madison and County Streets.)
Referring to the public schools of his youth, Dr. McKenzie said: “My father was not willing that his children should attend schools with other than the children of ship-owners, so that the other children in my family went to Friends’ Academy. They allowed me, however, to go to the Bush Street grammar school. I understand you have changed the name, but I wish you would put it back. I rang the bell there, both for amusement and emolument. The public schools were very good schools. The master of the High School, John F. Emerson, was one of the finest I have ever known. He had but one leg, but he hopped about very lively upon that, and he could scold longer upon one stretch than any man I ever met. One day one of the boys put some asafetida on the stove, and it caused a very remarkable stench. When Mr. Emerson attempted to find the guilty party, everybody said he didn’t do it, and the culprit attempted to lay the blame on somebody else. There were no recitations that day, and Mr. Emerson scolded all the morning and all the afternoon, with Thomas A. Greene [chairman of the school committee] to spell him. I have never put any asafetida on the stove since.
“Mr. Emerson had one question that has haunted me all my life. When you gave an answer he would always ask, ‘Why?’ If, for instance, you said that so many triangles equaled so many circles, he would demand to know, ‘Why?’ In my daily work I am often obliged to ask myself ‘Why?’ because I say only what I believe in. I don’t want any lawyer to say, ‘Very pretty, but not logical;’ and whenever I am tempted to use some pretty sophistry, that question, ‘Why?’ comes up to me.
“Mr. Emerson was considerate, too. We used to speak once a week. The boys spoke in detachments, and Mr. Emerson saved me for the last. When I marched up before the audience for the first time, and saw Crapo and the rest, my heart failed me. I dropped my eyes, and went through the piece. Mr. Emerson made no comment at the time, but two weeks later I was again asked to take part, and this time I was ready. After I had finished, he remarked. ‘You did better this time.’ Another time we were allowed to speak old pieces, and I chose part of Webster’s oration at the dedication of Bunker Hill Monument. After hearing it, Mr. Emerson said, ‘I couldn’t say anything against speaking old pieces if you spoke it that way.’
“I never left New Bedford because I wanted to. New Bedford had no place for me. I could not go to college, though I desired to do so. I was told that there was a vacancy in the Mechanics Bank. I went there, and James B. Congdon told me, ‘Thy application shall be considered.’ I may have been considered but I wasn’t hired. Another boy got it, and he became cashier, and married a daughter of a bank official. I mentioned the incident to Mrs. Peleg Howland one time, and she asked me very innocently where she would have been if I had got the position.
“I wanted to get into the book store of William C. Taber, whom I liked very much as a boy, because he used to let me come in there and read the books. But nothing came of it.
Then I got a place with Tobey & Macomber, who sold ship stores at 59 Union Street, receiving $50 a year as pay. After working there a year and a half, I went to work in Boston, securing a place with a mercantile house, through the influence of Benjamin S. Ropes of New Bedford. There I found a New Bedford man, Frank Macomber, as hear salesman. So New Bedford kept its hold on me. Every vacation I came down here. It was a very good town, and I could not improve it very much.
“We had a very good set of boys here. Andrew Pierce was one off my companions, as were ‘Park’ Lund and Charlie Seabury.” After running from memory the names of his High School class, Dr. McKenzie continued: “I have kept up my friendship with some of them, and I remember how I used to look upon some of the older boys, and wonder when I would become a man.
“I am always glad to encounter anyone who does not call me ‘doctor.’ After all, it is the early days that are so sacred in my thought.” Of the merchants in New Bedford, during his residence here, Dr. McKenzie said that if he had wanted shoes, he would have gone to Oliver Swain; to Cook & Snow for a jacket; to Benjamin Pitman to have his watch repaired; or if ill, and in search of a good drug store, to Elisha Thornton.
“We used to have a bell rung at 12 o’clock, to set our watches by, and a bell at 9 o’clock, to tell us when to go to bed. We used to go to parties, and although we did not go home when the 9 o’clock bell rang, it was well to know we ought to go home. We had debating societies, and we used to give little plays. I remember that we went to South Dartmouth once to give a play; I think I have the program now. Andrew Pierce and I took part in it.
“In the eating line, the best thing in New Bedford in the early days was the eel. It was two or three inches broad, and done up in bundles. I have never been able to get any like them since, except twenty years ago, when a friend from Marthas Vineyard sent me some. There was one thing that was popular with the boys-the lobster. The small ones cost about 6 cents, and a boy seldom had 6 cents all at once. But we sometimes had 3 cents and would meet another boy who had the same amount, and would buy a lobster together. Nothing was ever arranged so well for division as a lobster; there are the same number of claws on each side, and they could be split right down the middle; a very beautiful system. I don’t believe, however, that the boys ever club together to buy a lobster now.
“To mention some of the people who lived here-we had the custom then of calling men by their first names, behind their backs; and we spoke of ‘Martha Randall and Betsey Nye;’ you never thought of separating the names. There were two women who lived near my home-I think their name was Coffin-who were known as ‘the old maids.’ They had some currant bushes in their yard, and I remember my mother telling me, ‘The old maids say you may come over and pick currants.’
“I remember some of the Quaker people, an element that was always very desirable. One of them was Thomas A. Greene, the chairman of the school committee. They gave me a love for the Quakers and if I ever change from a Puritan minister, I shall go to the Quakers. In the Congregational Church we get all the advantages of the Quaker system.
“One of our characters was ‘Uncle Gid’ Howland, an old man, and tall. The boys had a tradition that if any boy could catch him with his shoes untied, and tie them for him, he would give the boy 5 cents. Then there were the Rotches, the Rodmans and the Howlands, names which I understand are still surviving.
“I remember Tom Williams, the town crier, a black man who rode about on a horse, with a bell. I can seem to hear him roaring, ‘Auction by J. B. King.’ King had a circle on his boo, with lines cut across it, gridiron fashion, which I suppose was cut to ease his foot on account of bunions. I used to notice that while he was selling his second-hand furniture and carpets. I am ashamed to think that while I have forgotten so many things I should remember J. B. King’s boots.
“There was one man who almost always rode about on horseback. He was known as ‘Black Hawk.’ His daughter, I believe, was famous in another direction. He had the reputation of being a hard man, but I remember that one day while I was working in the Boston store, Mott Robinson came in, and said to the proprietor, ‘Mr. Lawrence, I have done today what you cannot do. I have been to see my mother.’ Some people are only cold on the outside, and the place that freezes last is where a man remembers his mother.
“Of the ministers, the man I was brought up under was James Austin Roberts. He lived in Middleboro, and he invited me to visit him there. His idea of amusing a boy was to teach him Latin, and he set me to learning Latin grammar. While I attended the Bush Street school, there was a teacher there who was a crank on Latin. Ferdinand Miller I think was his name, and his children were given Latin names. He told me to get a Horace, but the committee turned him out before I could translate it.”
In the Unitarian church, Dr. McKenzie mentioned Ephraim Peabody as an eminently good man.
In the lawyer’s profession, the speaker recalled the names of “Tim” Coffin, T. D. Eliot, Governor Clifford and J. H. W. Page. Among the physicians were Doctors Spooner, Whitridge, Read, Mayhew, and Macomber.
In conclusion, Dr. McKenzie said he was sure the work of the Old Dartmouth society was worth treasuring, adding that the great value of it was that the members had no right to say anything unless they intended to uphold it. He spoke of the American Republic as still in a formative state, declaring that the American citizen was not yet born, and that to bring all its foreign elements together under one system of law and morals was something never before attempted by a republic. “Resign your places tonight,” he said, “unless you are willing to do your part in making the city, commonwealth and republic all that it ought to be.”
Old Dartmouth at Home
By Leon M. Huggins
[From The Evening Standard, February 20, 1907]
The Old Dartmouth Historical Society has found an ideal home in the fine building on the west side of Water Street, formerly occupied by the National Bank of Commerce. Standing in a historic section of the city, with its street windows overlooking the waterfront, its situation is altogether appropriate, and as for the adaptation of the building for the purpose of such an organization it could not be better had the association had the chance to design its own home. In every way it is well adapted for displaying the fine collection which the association has gathered together in a few years, the space available for this purpose being much greater than that afforded by the former room in the Masonic building. On the lower floor is the assembly room and a second room devoted to showing whaling appliances, while on the second floor there is a colonial room, a South Sea island room, a textile room, a photograph room, and a room for research. In addition to this there are a number of smaller rooms which can be used for purposes of display, and still others which are adapted as dressing rooms. There is a satisfying sense of permanency in every feature of the building.
Some of the choicest articles are displayed in the assembly room at the left of the entrance. This is the largest room in the building, formerly the quarters of the bank proper, and opening off of this room is the old bank vault which will be of good service as a safe place to store the most valuable documents which are now or may hereafter come into the possession of the society.
Notable among the collection in the assembly room is the series of oil paintings on the south wall, picturing the history of Old Dartmouth. Included in the number of oils is one showing Gosnold’s islet, by Bierstadt; the landing of Gosnold, by William Wall; New Bedford and Fairhaven, and a third marine scene, by Wall. The fine collection of china and antiques loaned by Rear Admiral George F. Winslow, U. S. N., is displayed in two cases. Relics of the mutiny on the ship Junior and a book from the ship Bounty, old books and documents of interest to the Society of Friends, and other valuable data of interest to this community have a place in another case. The collection of ivory jagging wheels, pie knives and busks, one of the finest collections in the country, is displayed to fine advantage in three separate cases. The larger part of this collection shows work done by the whalemen, while some of it is representative of Eskimo skill. The jagging wheels and pie knives were made to be presented to the wives of the men at sea, while the busks were for the sweethearts. In one the choicest cases of ivory is a busk, whereon is inscribed:
“This bone once in a whale’s jaw did rest.
Now ‘tis intended for a woman’s breast;
This, my love, I do intend
For you to wear and not to lend.”
The reverse side of the busk bears a fanciful design in entwined hearts. There are other carved ivory pieces, such as ditty boxes, swifts for winding silk, and from the land of the Eskimo are little carved animals. On one side of the room is a magnificent old bookcase from the Morgan house.
In the room at the right of the entrance is the collection of every known implement used in the pursuit of whales, ship models, ship stern boards, fiddle heads and flags that once flew from the lofty mastheads of the whalers. Occupying the middle of the floor is a regulation size whaleboat that has seen service on the A. R. Tucker. The boat is fitted out with harpoons and toggle irons, all ready to lower for a whale.
The women’s dressing room opening off the assembly room is appropriately furnished with ancient pieces of furniture, including a solid mahogany piece from the John Avery Parker house, an old table above which hangs a deep gold framed mirror. Old chairs such as our ancestors four or five generations ago used are an adornment in every room, and other pleasing features are the fine fire sets. There are fireplaces galore in every room, all very appropriate in setting off the various articles displayed. The dressing room for men opens off the assembly hall, and still another room to be fitted up later on is what was formerly used as directors’ room in the old bank days.
Hanging in the hallway between the first and second floors are several Eskimo kayaks, and on the second floor landing is a very extensive collection of bows and arrows, spears and paddles from the South Sea Islands. The main South Sea collection is in an inner room opening off the hall, showing a fine exhibit of war clubs, battle axes and ceremonial clubs. There are some fine shell bracelets, a catamaran, or double canoe, an old wicker chair from a Chinese junk and a Chinese flag taken from a Chinese pirate junk. An interesting exhibit is a model of an oomiak, or woman’s boat, brought from Greenland by William Bradford.
Opening off the South Sea Island room is a smaller room being fitted with collections of natural history. Here is the stuffed body of the 119 pound tarpon caught by the late Captain Randall, a boa constrictor skin, an albatross skin, the skull of a hippopotamus, and a very fine collection of shells. In another adjoining room are dancing masks taken from Eskimo dance halls, one large head mask taken from the dance hall at Point Barrow.
The largest room on the second floor has been arranged with good taste as a colonial room, where the association teas will be held. There are three fireplaces in the rooms, so that in the single room it has been possible to arrange one section as a colonial parlor, another as the keeping room and the third as a kitchen. In the parlor are three quaint cradles which would not now be considered hygienic as a resting place for an infant. In a corner is an old corner cupboard taken from the old Allen house on Allen Street, and in this is displayed some fine bits of old China. In the keeping room is the old fireplace mantel taken from the William Ricketson house in Dartmouth. The old cedar mantel built in 1685 is still in as fine a state of preservation as when the Ricketson family gathered about its wide frame. On the top of the mantel are old pewter dishes, standing in the shallow groove that was found there and meant to serve for this purpose. Old colonial household utensils are stowed conveniently in the corner. In a case just off the keeping room are some old silver buckles, watches, spectacles, snuff boxes and articles of personal adornment. In the kitchen about the fireplace are the colonial cooking utensils and resting on the mantel is the pipe box, its collection of pipes looking very inviting. On the south side of the colonial room are relics of the Colonial and succeeding wars and Indian relics from the Cook and Russell garrisons. At the west side of the room are some finished textiles from the old hand looms, wearing apparel such as delighted the belle of a century and more ago, and many other interesting articles of dead generations.
The research room opening from the colonial room, is well lighted, and otherwise well adapted for the purpose to which it is to be put. In this there is a choice collection of documents, interesting and valuable early maps of Dartmouth and New Bedford. Over a closet door is the sign, “Town Clerk’s Office,” an interesting relic of the time when we didn’t have any mayor’s office. Resting on top of a document case is the old Liberty cap taken from the old Liberty Hall building.
The photograph room, just off the research room, has been well arranged, showing the contribution of the camera to the history of Old Dartmouth. There is a picture of Gosnold’s Island before the monument was placed there, and another showing the island with the monument of stones recently erected there. Resting on the mantel is the root of a primeval cedar that once grew on the now barren island. In one corner of the room is a group of pictures relating to the Society of Friends. There are some of the old mansions, and side by side is a group of pictures, one side showing scenes in Dartmouth, England, and other scenes in Dartmouth, New England. There are whaling and wharf scenes from the Bradford collection, groups of sea captains, some old Dartmouth families and portraits of local worthies.
In the textile room, quite appropriate in showing the transition of this community from a leader in whaling industry to that of a manufacturing city, there is an ancient hand loom and spinning wheel. Samples of the work which these crude implements turned out adorn the walls.