Utility over EleganceThe view down Centre Street has changed little over the years, and no street in New Bedford served the whaling industry longer. Little finery can be seen in the facades of these buildings, for this was a working waterfront, where utility overrode the need for elegance.
Where Centre meets Front Street, town founder Joseph Russell built the first candleworks around 1768 to further his investment in the growing whaling industry. The brick warehouses at the bottom of the street at left, built about 1790, housed a ship chandlery and iron business. At times, other buildings here served as bake shops, an ice plant and cold storage warehouse, and a ship and house painter's shop.
I could look down Centre Street and...see and also hear coopers driving the hoops, tightening the large casks of oil...When a ship was hove down at the dock I could see the caulkers driving oakum into the seams and could see the ship carpenters replace the worn sheathing with new and giving the vessel an new suit of yellow metal. Altogether it was a scene of life and animation.
William W. Carpo, September 28, 1906.
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|Placed By||National Parks Service|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 9:51am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||19T E 339837 N 4611074|
|Decimal Degrees||41.63533333, -70.92293333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 41° 38.12', W 70° 55.376'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||41° 38' 7.20" N, 70° 55' 22.56" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Area Code(s)||508, 774|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 37-59 N Water St, New Bedford MA 02740, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|