Fairhaven’s Top Ten (Almost) Forgotten Landmarks

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Fairhaven water tank

Fairhaven Water Tank Berdon Plaza

by Joe Silvia

Having grown up in nearby Fairhaven during the 80s, I was excited to come across a video on YouTube of a car filming Fairhaven as it went along Route 6. After a good 30 minutes of rewinding, pausing and exclaiming “Hey!” I thought to myself this is something that HAS to be shared. I can’t recall how many times I have reminisced with friends about all our favorite establishments growing up. To accompany the video, I thought it would be fun to bring up all of the favorite spots that I could recall. But since my memory is pretty dismal, and since a two way conversation is so much more interesting, I was hoping that the readers could chime in with corrections or additions. So without further ado, and in no particular order let’s take a stroll down memory lane!


1. Fairhaven Water Tower
This water tower stood near where Burger King is today. It was built in 1902 and replaced an earlier one that was erected in 1887. It’s first incarnation was one of the first elevated water-tanks with a curved bottom ever erected in the country and one of the largest of the type built up to this time. After it’s rivets let loose the water tower burst on November 19, 1901. A year later the new one was erected, dubbed Baby Blue and lasted until 1988.

2. A&W
A&W Root Beer was where Honey Dew donuts stands today and had those famous Root Beer floats that we all loved so dearly. There was something special about their root beer that they have been brewing since 1919. It was the site of my first Bacon Cheeseburger. There was no other burger “joint” you could go to and have a hamburger and a hot dog!

3. Barbero’s Pizza & Sub Shop
This was THE spot for pizza in Fairhaven for the longest time. I vaguely remember the variety of toppings, but remembering there being a lot to choose from. I didn’t like thin pizza anywhere else. Barbero’s always loaded their pies with generous amounts of toppings. Save 10 coupons and get a FREE pizza! WOO HOO! This was my brother’s favorite place to eat whenever he would get a break from military duty. We always bee-lined it for Barbero’s. This was right next door to A&W and there was even a mini-golf course right next door, but don’t recall whether it was a separate business or part of Barbero’s. They closed their doors in 1998. If you want a ton of great old photos of Barbero’s there is even a “Remembering Barbero’s” Facebook!

Barbero’s Pizza & Sub Shop

4. Howard’s Used Cars
Howard’s used cars was right next door to the Huttleston House Restaurant down a bit from A&W and Barbero’s. I believe they relocated a few years back to Arsene Way, but am unsure. Howard’s was the number one place in the area to buy a car besides Sam Giammalvo’s. You didn’t need to got to Giammalvo’s, because we had Howard’s right here in Fairhaven!

5. Brook’s Drugs
Today the site is Sweet Ginger Chinese Restaurant, but back then it was Brook’s Drugs. Before there was a CVS, Walgreens or Rite-Aid every 10 feet there was Fairhaven’s Brook’s Drugs with it’s familiar red neon sign.

6. Star Store
The Star Store was in the Fairhaven or Berdon Plaza. At one time there were quite a few Star Stores in the area. A Star Store had opened in New Bedford as early as 1898 and was run by New Bedford Dry Goods Co. That particular store had the nation’s first escalator. Star Store was the original Wal-Mart with a deli, clothing department, jewelry, cosmetics, pet center and more.

7. Almacs
Almac’s was in the same Berdon or Fairhaven Plaza that the Star Store was in. It was the number one destination for groceries. Of course, it is now Shaw’s Supermarket. Was the Mammoth-Mart in the plaza then?

Fairhaven Drive-In Built in 1951

8. Phoenix Restaurant (they are back open!)
There was simply no better place to get late night breakfast after pub crawling with friends. The place was packed at all hours, was inexpensive and the food came out fast. Because they catered to the late night bar crowd, eventually they had to hire security. After a number of fist fights, they eventually had to hire police officers. When you have a breakfast establishment and need security or police detail, it’s only a matter of time. Still miss that place!

9. Bowling Alley
In the plaza where Stop ‘n Shop and the new Rocky/Ace Hardware was the Fairhaven Bowling Alley. There were not only bowling lanes, but a fair amount of video games and a bar. This was the place that I had my first under-age drink! Between the Bowling Alley and Skate-Plus the teen dating scene was cornered!

10. Drive-In
This was perhaps my fondest memory of all ten. The Drive-In that was built in 1951 is near the Huttleston Motel and the sign still stands. It could fit up to 800 cars! I can’t recall the number of times we hid in the trunk or back of the van to pay a lesser admission to enter. I feel sadness for the entire generation that grew up and hadn’t experience a drive-in. Fumbling with putting the radio on your car door, intermission meaning a scramble to the concession stand, and simply laying sprawled on the car hood while watching a great early 80s movie. The theater closed in 1985. Fond times. Will someone please buy this and re-open it?!?


Do you remember any of these landmarks? Do you remember others? Did we leave out a date or get one wrong? Please chime in!


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73 thoughts on “Fairhaven’s Top Ten (Almost) Forgotten Landmarks

  1. no star store in fairhaven and where the bowling alley was is where the poor farm was and mammoth mart was a big yard the house that was there is now behind the old and gone mutal gas station that at one time sold guns, almac’s was where bennys is today

  2. Hi Dennis! There was a Star Store in New Bedford and in Fairhaven. The one in Fairhaven was in Berdon Plaza as was the Almac’s. If you watch the attached video you can see Benny’s where Benny’s is today and the Almac’s and Star Store in the locations mentioned in the article. Don’t take my word for it. Watch the video.

      • Hi Marie! There was a Star Store in Fairhaven. You don’t have to take my word for it, but watch the video at 2:05.

        My information comes from simply watching the video embedded within the article. Here’s a screenshot for you:

        http://www.newbedfordguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/star-store.jpg

        Go to the video at 2:05 and see for yourself.

        In addition, I got a confirmation from local historian Christopher Richard, who had this to say:

        “We did, in fact have Star Store in Fairhaven. It was where Shaw’s is/was now in Berdon Plaza, but Shaw’s rebuilt that whole store. As a department store it was Mammoth Mart originally, then Zaire, Ames and Star Store.”

        • Hey Joe, I’m glad that someone remembers star store in Fairhaven. And then star store was turned into ames. Hey, wasn’t there a stuarts in the kmart plaza. What was between ames and kmart? I know there was another department store between ames and kmart… I’m trying to remember. In New Bedford, next to savers thrift store, there was an ames store. What was ames (next to savers) before it’s conversion?
          It must have been a bradllees or a star store.
          In North Dartmouth, where stop & shop is… wasn’t their a Kmart there before Stop &Shop was built.

        • Hey Joe,
          Today in Fairhaven, next to Benny’s theirs people’s super Liquors.
          I believe that People’s Liquors next to Benny’s was an A & P Supermarket. Because i’m sure A & P was not in the Kmart plaza.
          I’m sure that next to Kmart was another department store.
          As a kid going to the department store or a grocery store was one of my favorite past times.
          Most guys hate shopping; I would go window shopping and bargain hunting from store to store for movies, movie soundtracks, and decorations for every possible holiday.
          I love stores. Woolworths and Anne & Hope were my favorite stores.

        • I got my 1st job at Fernandes Supermarket in 1967 after they took over a People’s Supermarket I believe. I can’t tell you how many linguica pizzas and sandwiches I ate at Barbero’s

      • Sorry, Star Store was in that plaza. It was originally Mamouth Mart. It has also been the location if Zayre/Ames stores. I don’t need to watch the video, but you and Dennis should. Joe us right. I also remember that site before there was ever a plaza there. Big green pastures with white fences and a low green house on the land. The house was moved over behind the old Mutual Station, off Shirley St.

  3. I remember there was also Almy’s where Mammoth Mart was. Buger Chef used to be where Burger King is today and there used a be a beauty saloon before Buger Chef. In the early 70′s my best friend Jaqui Barney used to ride our bikes up and down Huttlestone Ave (Routd 6). There was nothing but open space before you came to New Port Creamy, Almacs, Archie Kent, than of course there was Mammoth Mart. I used to love shopping there. Those days I miss so much. We didn’t see very many cars on the road.

  4. Almac’s was where BoatUS and the Chinese Buffet were. Mammoth Mart/ Star Stores/ Kings are now where Shaws is. Staples was were either BPM or A&P was. Kmart was always were is is. Bennys was Fernandes Supermarket. Inside Fernandes was Peoples Package store. The parking lot behind Sears was where the water tower was.

    • Back in the early 1960′s My aunt had a home across the street from the bowling alley. In those days it was called The Atlantic Ten Pins Lanes. Her home stood right where rt.240 is today right next door to the old Havenwood Motel.

    • Bowlers Country Club was the best. Lots of great memories and met people that are still very good friends of mine today. Kept alot of us kids in tough areas out of…well “real” trouble anyway..lol. Loved that place

  5. The First National Bank of Fairhaven, A&W the old style with car hops, then laundramat before it was Howard Motors, then The origninal Manny Bob Gas station, along with Fernandes Supermarket with People’s Liquor store – a little section of the store.

    Before Midas Muffler – Darlings Flower shop then Mister Donut, Burger Chef, Dick’s Gulf Station with the pumpkins at halloween and Cecil’s Barber Shop at the original Alden Road intersection…oh the list goes on.!

  6. Hi Joe,

    I shot that video with our family’s first video camera, a 20 pound over the shoulder special. I wish I had shot more. What was the name of the Chinese restaurant on the left heading east on Rt. 6 that burned (after becoming Good’s used cards)? ALso…remember what was in the building that Comcast is in now? And lastly, anyone remember the Havenwood Motel that is now occupied by the current Walgreens and former Uno’s?

  7. Thanks for the clarification Joey. I actually had to go by memory on that one as I couldn’t find anything online. Too many concussions prevented me from recalling many details. ;)

    Tim, your video was the inspiration for the article. Great stuff. I can’t recall what was at Comcast, but going to ask a few friends. Someone will recall. I DO remember the Chinese restaurant because it was a Friday ritual for me and my friends Ed and Ron. Pu Pu Platter and Scorpion bowls after getting paid. We would walk in the door and not even order. It would just be brought. What a great interior too! Food, service….it was a ll there. I have no idea why it disappeared.

    Yeah….I waited until the end for the name! Got to build the tension! CHONG HING’S!

    Also, I want to add. The article was Rt. 6-centric. However, Chris’ variety was THE place to get penny candy. Hands down.

    • Prince Brothers Construction used to own the Comcast building (and a LOT of land to the north too). Larry and Sam Prince…

  8. MATTHEW VANDER POL

    The good old havenwood motel. I used to work there when i was in 7th grade. Used to mow the grass. Cardozas liquors was on the southwest corner of rte6 and sconticut neck rd. before the current plaza. Lancaster video across from stop and shop. Zares was where shaws is. Walmart plaza was an overgrown field. Teds farm equipment, is that still there. Behind the old exxon station. The chinese restraunt across from g. Bourne knowles, a little east of there. Newport creamery next to auto zone. Who remembers the bar stools in dunkin donuts? The shell station where 7-11 is.

  9. The Chinese Resteraunt was called Chung Hing. My father coached the little league team. Also I thought Pheonix Pharmacy deserved a little love. Finally the Fairhaven Water Tower was torn down in 1994 I remember watching them take it down during recess at Wood School!

  10. I may be biased as it was built by my uncle but Mac’s soda bar if not a landmark is a right of passage for anyone south of rt 6 and has survived most places on that list

  11. Hi Joe, I’m a displaced guy from Fairhaven, living here in the Penn Dutch country of Lancaster County, PA for the past 57 years, and have for some time been trying to find a committee or group who has interest in preserving stuff about Charles Ashley, the long-time mayor of New Bedford. Found you looking for info on the whaleman statue and those WONderful bookends. Now then, can you steer me to such a …”group”. I think I have the cradle he was in as an infant. Sound interesting…I’m trying to give it to the “museum” or whatever after I establish the provenance. Given to my pregnant wife st St. Lukes Hospital by “Mrs. Ashley”, a Grey Lady volunteer in 1953. Mrs. Ashley, at that time was O-L-D!! Dunno the relationship. How about you helping me out???

  12. Hi Gardner!! Never been to that neck of the woods, but have spent some time in Pennsylvania. Beautiful country!

    I’d imagine that either the NB Whaling Museum or the City itself may be interested. Mayor Ashley was “the man” in the local history. We interact with both the museum and city officials on a daily basis and will mention it. If you have any snapshots of the cradle and an asking price, could you send it to nbgarts@gmail.com?

    As for the “Mrs. Ashley”, it may have been his second wife Julia A. Purnington as his first wife Annie Budlong Butler died in 1890. Mayor Ashley lived until 1941, aged 83 and his wife was likely younger than he was. Interesting!

  13. Hi Joe, I thought I’d nevah find you again, but here I yam. I will send a photo of the cradle to the email address you gave in your reply, and be advised that I have, in the past, tried the Library, the Old Dartmouth Society, asked for an archivist, asked the postmaster..for crying out loud, he was, as you said, “The Man”..mayor for what?? 35 years??? Ashley Blvd and all that??? I well remember the water tank and the video shows it in a flash aty the beginning.
    My in-laws lived across from FHS at 17 Huttleston Ave. I am having trouble typing here, so i wll quit. More later, I hope. Love ya!! Gardner.

  14. Gardner, New Bedford is always shooting itself in the foot. I’m often amazed that it is successful in spite of “shaking my head” moments with officials and citizens alike. Ashley is a BIG deal and iconic figure in New Bedford and the nation’s history. I wouldn’t be surprised if those you spoke to had no idea who he is/was.

    High School has built a large addition and all of Rte 6 in Fairhaven is undergoing major renovation and beautification. If you came back to the area, there would be some you’d recognize and a lot you wouldn’t.

    Hope life in Pennsylvania has treated you well.

    -Joe

  15. Hey, what’s this CAPTCHA Code” business. I write a long email, hit “post” and ir don’t go…whazza matter???

    PUH-LEEZE lemme know, OK??? (That’s IF this one goes OK).

    Gardner

  16. Hi Joe, missed the last captcha code, so gotta type it again.
    Thanks for a reply…not many webmasters(?) even CHECK their mail, let alone answer it. Keep me informed of what’s happening with the cradle thing. “My” Mrs. Ashley was about 90 years old in 1953, so dates look good. I have a picture of her with the hospital clinic group, so I’ll try to find that and send it.
    Thanks again, Gardner.

  17. Hi Joe,

    I sure hope I didn’t blow the Captcha code thingy, as i dunnio if that’s a “3″ or what. I sent a note to YOUR email addresss, and now I’ll try this. Whats’ going on (if anything) with the Ashley stuff?? I sent pictures of the woman i knew a “Mrs. Ashley” with others at the St. Luke’s Clinic at the time (1953). Puhleeze let me hear from you one way or t’other, OK??

  18. I sent something earlier like “Belay that last word”…NO!! THAT was on YOUR email, so pardonais moi!! Lemme hear from you, OK?? Good or bad, either way.

    Regards, Gardner.

  19. I also got here from a Whalemen’s statue search. I could add a few other notable landmarks of yesteryear. How about Browne’s Pharmacy with it’s old fashioned soda fountain? … or, a block away, Guy’s Pharmacy. Then there used to be three summer clambake places within just a few miles of each other: Brown’s Pavillion on Sconticut Neck, Gaudette’s Pavillion in Acushnet, and another one (can’t remember the name) down at Fort Phoenix. I remember when Huttleston Avenue was lined with stately homes before it got strip-mallized, and when H.H. Rogers’ statue greeted folks driving over the bridge from New Bedford.

  20. The bowling alley was Bowler’s Country Club. I had my first job there working as a waitress in the Snack Bar back in 86/87! Used to love going to the drive in when I was a kid it was a treat to go after my dad got back from Nat’l Guard duty in the summers.

  21. Having lived in New Bedford until the age of 10 I can remember a few of these places – A & W with their car hops on skates and the $.25 glasses full of the creamy goodness – Almacs grocery store where we shopped every Saturday for the weeks groceries – also the Revere sign, that could be seen on the way home to New Bedford via the Fairhaven Bridge, lighting the sky on the left. The drive-in was a special treat on hot summer evenings, and the water tower that was visible for miles. You may be pleased to hear that the Phoenix has (or will be soon) reopening – the sign has been installed!

  22. I remember when from the Kmart lot to Rd, was nothing but woods with ONE [1] home sitting in the middle of it all.
    the drive in was a great place, my parents took us almost every weekend. Browne’s Pharmacy with the soda fountain brings back some fond memories, along with Guy’s where I went for lunch . Browne’s is now an Antique shop? guy’s im not so sure what that is. GREAT

  23. What was the supermarket on the bridge?
    Where was Fernandes Market?
    What stood where Benny’s is now?
    And lastly, what was the name of that great little ice cream place on the north side of Huttleston? They had the best chocolate chip ice cream!!

  24. This was a great article! I remember more than half of these places! :D
    Fairhaven has gotten a lot more boring,in my lifetime…

  25. still have my A&W glasses-one of each size-from that store. And I remember bowling every Thursday night with 3 friends, driving from Wareham, at the Lanes .Ahh, for the good ole days.

  26. The Comcast building in my youth, late 50′s, early 60′s, was “Buddy’s Fish and Chips” owned by Buddy Perry. Buddy was great to all of the kids in the area and was one of the biggest Yankee fans I ever met. He used to torment all of us Red Sox fans in those days, but we forgave him because he was such a great guy. Also someone earlier mentioned the A&W car hops on skates. During my time the car hops never wore skates, I know because my wife was one.

  27. yes I remember alot of these places but know ones mentioned Gene’s Seafood or the Video Game Arcade across from Friendly’s. I do remember Chong Hing and Chris’ Variety was right up the street from my house, used to love to go there for candy and such. I have fond memories of walking up and down Rte 6 to get to the bowling alley and skate plus. I loved Burger Chef as a kid cuz I could put whatever I wanted on the burgers. My first job was at Pasta House as a dishwasher and having to walk home at 2 in the morning was always cool because of the lack of people on the road, something you couldn’t experience during the daylight hours.

  28. The Ground Round on the Fairhaven side of the bridge was where I used to love to go as a kid. Everytime you drove past there you could smell the hamburgers. Mike’s Pizza on Route 6 near the Mattapoisett Town Line is an institution. The best linguica pizza.

  29. Growing up in the 80s, I always remember places on Main Street. Food Town, Newbury’s Video Rental, Galaxy Pizza and, of course, The Bijou movie theater

  30. How about the Ground Round .Being Sta at State Peir in New Bedford we would run over to Fairhaven Bridge to the Ground Round …Cutter Bibb Sailor!!!!

  31. My uncle, aunt and many cousins lived “Down the Neck” commonly known as Sconticut Neck Rd. I recall family gatherings at the “Capalogue”, where most walked in and staggered out! Unk had a scallop dragger out of New Bedford for many years, retiring in the 70′s We loved going to the beach there, watching Horseshoe Crabs and digging for Quahogs. We would beg for some change to go to the store down the road to buy “punks”, candy cigarettes, and little wax bottles filled with sweet syrup. Recently rode past the family home and it is beautifully redone.

  32. So wonderful to see so many who love Fairhaven. I praise God for all my memories and friends. Will have to visit some day. God Bless you all. 863-206-6564 text pics of fhvn anyone anytime.

  33. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this site! I don’t even know how I got here, but it is going into My Favorites! The great ice cream place on Rt. 6 was Roger’s and their chocolate chip ice cream was chocolate with molasses chocolate chips and sugar cones. The Best! It also was a small eat in place with wooden booths. I worked there as a waitress while in FHS. Remember Dot’s Donuts? It was this tiny place next to Rogers. I remember Dot. The A&P was on the island between NB and Fairhaven, right before the “old” bridge. I used to go every Friday night with my mother. Last I was there, the buildings were still there, but no A&P..;o( The Nest on Rt. 6 was the place to go for pizza, the best linquica pizza. I saw my first color TV there! I lived in the center and spent lots of time at Browne’s Drug Store. Had the best cherry cokes! Gladys worked there…..anyone remember her? Oh yes, the Congo Dances at the center Congregational Church on Friday nights and the Mattapoisett wharf dances in the summer? Miss Fairhaven so much and especially the Town Beach and ocean. No family left there but 4 generations “passed” through the family house on William St. I do go back there when I can. Never miss a FHS reunion. Oh boy, I could go on and on. McLeans Fish store? Thanks to everyone else here for the other memories. Such fun!

  34. thanks for another interesting article, joe (although it took me a while to see this one : ) …. & thanks for mentioning Barbero’s !!

  35. Where was Poor Richard’s Faire Tomes? I used to go there with a few dollars and buy a bunch of books. Anyone remember?

  36. How about the Oxford Cinema — bought by Webber Torre in the early ’70s and named the Bijou. Good second run flicks fr a $buck

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