The Benefits of a Buttonwood Park Zoo Membership

by Amanda Lawrence

As a mom, I am always looking for great ways to entertain and enlighten my son without bankrupting myself, and recently, I found one such way after spending an afternoon at The Buttonwood Park Zoo. Since my son and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit, I decided that membership to the BPZ would be a fantastic investment in family fun! One which would guarantee to offer a different adventure every time we visited! You and your family just might feel the same.

Not only will your kids enjoy unlimited trips to the zoo, but your wallet will, as well! Think about it, for a family of four, say two adults and two children, the price tag of a single days admission to the BPZ is about $18 (food, rides, souvenirs, etc.). For a typical family that goes to the zoo four times, that’s $72 a year, base. If you are not a New Bedford resident you’re looking at about $24 a day, equating to somewhere around $96 per year! However, if you become a Buttonwood Park Zoological Society member, like us, your family is charged a flat rate of $55, saving New Bedford residents around $17 a year, and non-New Bedford residents about $41! And as a bonus, your membership money goes right back into funding the zoo and its programs!

Basic monetary savings aside, as a member of the BPZ, your family will be treated to free, year round animal access, discounted rates on zoo birthday parties, and invitations to members-only events! Additional perks include:

  • 10% Discount at North Woods gift store
  • Special online notices of Zoo programs and events
  • Reciprocal Benefits at more than 140 Zoos and Aquariums across the United States

That’s right, kids! Flash your membership card at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston or the Stone Zoo in Stoneham and get 50% off your admission! And if you’ve been thinking about taking a trip to The Museum of Science, go for it! Because as a member of the BPZ, your family will get free admission there, too! And who doesn’t love free science?!


So, to recap, not only does your membership allow you to experience a full year of fun, adventure, and great discounts (locally and otherwise), but your membership dollars also help to support the Zoo’s conservation and education programs! It’s win/win for everyone!

What are you waiting for? Head on over to the BPZ today, and snag the membership that best fits you!

  • Family: Includes up to two adults named on membership card and their children under the age of 18 – $55.00.
  • Grandparents: Includes up to two adults named on card and their grandchildren under the age of 18 – $55.00.
  • Individual: One adult named on membership card – $45.00.
  • Student: One student named on membership card (requires copy of valid student I.D.) – $40.00.
  • Senior: One adult age 62 or older named on membership card – $40.00.

Plus you may add guests to any category for an additional $10 per guest.

**Please note that the guest must be accompanied by an adult named on the card.

The Zoo accepts MasterCard and Visa at the front gate for ticket purchases and MasterCard, Visa and Discover at the Café and Gift Shop.

Summer Hours: March – September: 9:00am – 5:00pm, daily (with the last admission at 4:15pm)

For more information and updates on the zoo, be sure to check out their website and give their Facebook a ‘like,’ and stay in the loop!


Local Teachers Chosen To Participate In Workshop About Underground Railroad

Eleven SouthCoast school teachers selected from national pool of applicants to participate in “Sailing to Freedom” summer workshop

Eleven teachers from SouthCoast middle and high schools have been selected from hundreds of nationwide applicants to attend “Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad,” a workshop series funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). They will learn about New Bedford’s critical but often-overlooked role in the Underground Railroad from nationally recognized experts at important historical sites throughout the region.

Jo-Anne Charette (Fairhaven High School), Christopher Donnelly (Normandin Middle School), Kellie Freitas (Keith Middle School), Frank Garcia (Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School), Nicholas Palumbo (New Bedford High School), Toni Teixeira (Keith Middle School), Amy DuBois (Dartmouth High School), Colin Everett (Old Rochester Regional High School), Dominique Branco (Roosevelt Middle School), John Oldham (Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School), and Derek Michael (Global Learning Charter Public School) will participate in “Sailing to Freedom” along with teachers from across the nation. The eighty teachers selected to participate in the program each receive a $1,200 stipend to help cover their travel, study, and living expenses.

The program is spearheaded by Director Dr. Timothy Walker, Associate Professor of History at UMass Dartmouth, and Project Administrator Lee Blake, Director of the UMass Dartmouth Campus Compact and President of the New Bedford Historical Society.

Walker notes that “New Bedford has an exceptionally rich history that provides a ready-made laboratory for studying key American social, political, and economic issues prior to the Civil War. Many traces of this seaport’s bygone anti-slavery activities remain. New Bedford has unparalleled museum resources and extraordinary archival collections to aid investigation into the Abolition Movement and the Underground Railroad. It’s the perfect place for this NEH program.”

Blake echoes this sentiment, adding “We could not be more excited to once again have the chance to show educators the crucial role New Bedford played in the history of the Underground Railroad. We are proud to be able to highlight the courage and commitment of the city’s abolitionist movement for teachers from across the nation.”

The workshops will bring together scholars of the Underground Railroad, the antebellum Abolitionist Movement, and the role of African Americans in maritime trade. Participants will view historical documents and items alongside program faculty at locations including the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the New Bedford Public Library, the Nathan and Mary Johnson House, the Rotch Jones Duff House Museum, the Boston Black Heritage Trail, and the Museum of African American History.

The “Sailing to Freedom” series of workshops will be offered twice this summer: on July 14 – 19 and July 21 – 26. “Sailing to Freedom” is one of several such learning opportunities supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency that funds Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops during the summer so that teachers across the country can study with experts in humanities disciplines. Other workshop topics this summer include “But for Birmingham…The Rise of the Magic City and the Evolution of the Civil Rights Movement,” “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School in the Midwest,” “Gullah Voices: Traditions and Transformations,” and “The Transcontinental Railroad: Transforming California and the Nation,” among many others. The approximately 1,600 teachers who participate in these studies will teach over 200,000 American students the following year.

Ocean Explorium hosts Earth Week and Exploration Camp during April Vacation

Ocean Explorium and NASA
Fantastic news for the Ocean Explorium and New Bedford Community!

Celebrate ‘Earth Week’ at the Ocean Explorium during April school vacation, with themed programs and activities each day, leading up to Earth Day on April 22.

Science experiments, hands-on learning activities, arts and crafts, and special Science on a Sphere® presentations will all highlight our planet and demonstrate such earthly phenomena as currents and climate, the moving earth, and more.

A week-long ‘Exploration Camp’ is also planned, for students 6 to 12 years of age, from 9 until noon each day. Each morning, campers will engage with the living exhibits before the Ocean Explorium opens for the day. They will also create science projects, art works and, on Wednesday, take a two-hour excursion to explore New Bedford’s inner and outer harbor, above and below the surface.

Earth Day celebrations begin early this year, with the Earth Eve Parade on AHA! Night, Thursday, April 11. This annual event in downtown New Bedford will include an Ocean Explorium float created by UMass Dartmouth students, featuring Science on a Sphere®.

The Ocean Explorium will be open every day during vacation week, from Monday, April 15, through Friday, April 19, 10 am to 4 pm. Daily activities include fish feedings, Sphere presentations, guided tours, touch tanks, and great learning opportunities from our educators.

What to Do When You Find a Lost Pet

Elizabeth Cincotta
by Elizabeth Cincotta

If you’re anything like me, you don’t let a lost pet continue on their way. I always stop and help the animal, since as a pet owner myself I would hope someone would do the same for my pet if they ever got lost.

Helping a stray animal can be quite a responsibility though, and with local Animal Control budgets being strained and their hours being restricted, you can’t always assume your only step is going to be to call them. So I’ve compiled a few important steps and information for the next time you come across a lost pet.

Step 1 – Look for an ID tag or collar with the pet’s information

If you’re lucky, the animal’s name, address and phone number should be on an ID tag or embroidered into their collar. If you’re even luckier, one phone call should be all it takes to arrange to get the lost pet back home. If the owner is not answering, and you feel it is safe to do so, you could try driving the animal to the address listed.

Step 2 – Call Animal Control

animal-control-new-bedfordUnfortunately, the information on these tags is not always the most up-to-date. Sometimes there is no identification on their animal whatsoever! If this is the case and you are unable to reach the owner by phone or at the listed address, try calling your local Animal Control department to ask them to come retrieve the animal. They will keep the animal safe until the owner can claim their pet.

Calling Animal Control does NOT put the animal at risk for being put down. Your local Animal Control agents work to ensure the safety and happiness of their constituents, both human and furry (and slimy). In the case of New Bedford, for instance, our Animal Control department has contracted Forever Paws Animal Shelter to house and care for lost and abandoned pets. Any animal that is collected by our Animal Control agents are brought to this shelter where they will be well-cared for until claimed by their owner. Should the animal not be claimed as anyone’s missing pet, they will be put up for adoption.

The Animal Control department for New Bedford can be reached at (508) 991-6366.

Step 3 – Call Local Police Department Dispatch

If you are unsuccessful in reaching your local Animal Control department, you can try contacting your police dispatch line. They are sometimes able to radio an Animal Control agent, even during off-hours.

This is especially helpful if you are unable to personally care for the pet until you find its owner. I would also warn that anyone with pets should think twice about bringing an unfamiliar animal into their home, even if just until you locate the owner. You can never be sure about the temperament of a lost animal, nor their health history, and you do not want to risk your own pet’s or families’ safety if you can help it.

There have been occasions where I have kept lost dogs in my backyard until we found the owner, but I kept my own pets safely inside our home.

The Police Dispatch line for New Bedford can be reached by calling (508) 991-6350.

Step 4 – Check with Neighbors

Even if you are not familiar with a lost pet you come across, your neighbors might be.

If you follow the New Bedford Guide or the Daily Dog Blog’s Facebook page, you will have seen that my husband recently found two lost labs wandering the streets in Lakeville. After asking some residents of that area whether they recognized the dogs, he was able to determine where he believed the lost dogs came from. He placed a phone call to the residence and a few hours later the pups were home safe and sound.

Step 5 – Call Area Animal Control Agencies and Shelters

lost-dog-new-bedfordChances are that if Fido is out running around and his owners are aware that he’s gone missing, they’ve called Animal Control agencies and shelters around them to report their pet missing. Calling these resources might amp up your chances for reuniting Fido with his owners.

Call and describe the animal you’ve found to the full extent and leave your name and phone number. If the owners call to report their pet missing, they’ll know how to contact you.

Step 6 – Utilize Social Media

If you’ve still not been successful in reuniting the lost pet with their owner, do not underestimate the power of social media! Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and countless other platforms, you can spread the word, and photos, of the pet you’ve found.

One such agency focuses on this – Granite State Dog Recovery. Between their Facebook page and website, this organization aims to reunite lost dogs with their families by working in partnership with shelters, rescues and Animal Control agents. This community outreach effort covers all of New England and is run totally by volunteers and there is no charge for their service. By using their “Report a Found Dog” tool, you can assist Granite State State Recovery in creating custom “Found Dog” flyers that they will spread via their Facebook page. And with over 18,000 fans, there are a lot of eyes that will be seeing and sharing your information.

GraniteState Dog Recovery can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/granitestatedogrecovery.

And don’t forget to reach out to other area organizations! The New Bedford Guide’s Facebook page is another great place to post found pet information, as is the Daily Dog Blog’s. You’ll be amazed at how many people will view and share the information – quickly!

By following these tips, you should be able to ensure a happy ending for the lost pet you’ve saved. Please don’t ever look the other way when you see a wandering animal for fear that you just don’t have the time or energy to try and help them. Remember, if your pet were ever lost, you’d hope caring people would help reunite you too!

Do you know of any additional resources or have tips that you’d like to share for reuniting a lost animal with its owner? Share them in the comment section below!

Elizabeth Cincotta is one of the co-founders of the Daily Dog Blog. Follow their Facebook page for updates. Leave her a comment here or contact her at Beth@dailydogblog.org. 

Remembering New Bedford’s Portuguese Navy Yard and Shanty Town

The Portuguese have a long, prominent role in the development of western civilization, the New World, and progress of the nation. There is hardly a facet of the planet’s history that this tiny nation did not have some influence over. So, it should come as no surprise that the Portuguese also had a central role in the development of this region in general, and specifically New Bedford.

By the 15th century the Portuguese were known as some of the greatest seafarers, whalers, fishermen, navigators, cartographers, and shipbuilders, so it was simply a matter of time before they began to migrate to the whaling capital of the world. Here is a spot on earth where not only were there major opportunities available, but in an area where they specialized and excelled. They were so refined in this area that it is not uncommon to find children as young as 11 years of age on a whaling vessel. It’s almost as if it is written in their DNA!

As the 16th century opened its eyes, the Portuguese were already colonizing parts of South America and poking their noses around New Foundland and Labrador, even claiming it for the crown. What funded much of these explorations was proselytization, but as momentum was achieved they began to establish industries and trade. They began with cod as a commodity, but eventually established sugar cane plantations which in turn created a massive demand for labor for which the slave trade was established. Slavery and the treatment of natives while attempting to convert them were two of the darkest moments in humanity and Portugal’s history.

Today Brazil is home to 110 million people of Portuguese ancestry. Pretty impressive considering that Portugal itself only has 11.5 million people. America claims 1.5 million people of Portuguese ancestry, the largest communities centralized in Metro Boston (195,000+), Greater New York/New Jersey/Connecticut (130,000+) area and San Francisco (124,000+). Massachusetts is home to almost 300,000 people of Portuguese ancestry (beat only by California) with most communities in East Cambridge, Lowell, Taunton, Fall River, Dartmouth and of course New Bedford. The majority of the population in the New Bedford area were Azorean and when the whaling industry died, the next waves of immigrants sought construction and unskilled labor.

Wider Shot of Shanties – Courtesy of the N.B. Whaling Museum

In that latter part of the 19th century and the when the 20th century was just getting its legs under it, there was a wave of Portuguese to New Bedford and it is here that brings us to the point of this particular article. The whaling industry begun to peter out and sputter to a conclusion leaving many of Portuguese descent searching for a means to support their families and put food on the table. Having the aforementioned predilection for the sea, DNA “profile” and having a long storied history of navigation, ship building, and sailing it was a no-brainer that the population gravitated to the waterfront. The poorest began to build shanties, or crudely built shacks at the edge of the waterfront, particularly at the foot of Potomska Street. A modest shantytown developed and was dubbed the “Portuguese Navy Yard.”

Not only did being at the edge of the water remind them of home, history and past glory, but this is where all the industry was. If labor was needed they were ready. If ship repairs, building or containment was needed they were available. They could also fish, quahog, and trap lobster and crab; anyway to generate revenue. They could jump at the smallest of jobs and make enough to feed their families and that has always been a priority of theirs.

Unfortunately the Hurricane of ’38 not only was disastrous for the area, it was catastrophic for the Portuguese Navy Yard. It was completely and totally wiped away. As happens with many events of history, they are overshadowed by relatively greater events and swept away often almost disappearing. A symbolic second hurricane if you will. These images which were generously provided by the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Spinner Publications are the only photos of the Portuguese Navy Yard that are known of. Surely someone, somewhere in an attic, cellar, or dusty photo album there are some forgotten treasures. By all means, if these images stir your memory and you have anything related, please share them!


UMass Dartmouth Announces $15-million Dollar Deficit

by Josh Amaral

Just days after cutting the ribbon on the $45-million dollar Claire T. Carney Library renovation project, UMass Dartmouth’s Chancellor Divina Grossman announced a $15-million dollar deficit to the school’s $245 million budget. Unsurprisingly, the announcement has caused a stir in the campus community.

While stopping short of being critical of former Chancellor Jean MacCormack, Grossman placed the blame on year-to-year budget patchwork that could no longer be feasibly continued. Other major factors contributing to the budget situation include potentially inefficient and unproductive campus centers and civic engagement programs that were unfavorable to the university. The chancellor made it clear that a number of solutions are on the table, including adding and removing programs to more adequately meet the demand of existing and future students, restructuring or merging various departments, and completing a full review of existing civic engagement relationships.

Claire T. Carney Library at UMass Dartmouth.

The chancellor more controversially pointed to a lack of both growth in student enrollment as well as state funding. In a letter to the editor of the Fall River Herald News, the director of the UMass Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis, Clyde Barrow, dismissed this claim. Barrow stated that while student enrollment has remained relatively flat, increases in tuition and fees have produced more revenue for the school. This is reflected in the university’s budgets, which have shown revenues from tuition and fees to be on the rise since 2010 from $92 million to $103 million, and in 2013, $107 million. Additionally, Barrow reported that funds appropriated from the state have also risen since 2010. The school was allocated over $60 million by the state in 2013, a drastic rise from the nearly $43 million it received in 2010.

Some skeptics have instead suggested the university focus on restructuring and even cutting a number of administrative positions on campus. Consolidating some of these positions, which often come with heftier six-figure salaries, is seen by many to be more prudent than eliminating teaching positions or introducing an influx of cheaper, part-time lecturers. While she didn’t rule it out completely, Grossman indicated that it is unlikely UMass closes its satellite locations in nearby New Bedford and Fall River.

While many including Barrow have been critical of the news, the tenor of the campus meeting was one of cooperation. There remains ample time for discussion and debate over next year’s budget before the next fiscal year begins in July. In one of her first major appearances in the campus community, Chancellor Grossman promoted transparency and community discourse, while showing her willingness to grapple with difficult issues.

New Bedford Superintendent Online Survey Now Available

The New Bedford Superintendent Search Committee announced today the availability of an online survey through which the  public can weigh in on the selection criteria for the new superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools as well as share opinions and ideas regarding the future of the school district.  The online survey allows each community member an opportunity to convey his or her opinions and ideas to the New Bedford School Committee.

Mayor Jon Mitchell explained that the Committee and the district will benefit from the public input and perspective.  “I encourage New Bedford residents to participate in this online survey as it is an opportunity for the School Committee to learn the characteristics and qualities the public would like to see in the next Superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools as well as the district’s strengths and shortcomings,” he said.

The online survey is available at the New Bedford Public Schools homepage: www.newbedford.k12.ma.us or at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NEWBEDSUR.

New Bedford Students Start School Year with Technology in the Classroom

New Bedford High School teachers and students began the 2012-2013 school year with access to new educational technology tools in the classroom.  Twenty classrooms at New Bedford High School were outfitted with interactive white boards (Promethean boards) as well as laptop computers and interactive slate boards with the ability to communicate with the interactive boards. Teachers received training on the new technology and will use the tools to engage students in a more interactive classroom environment.

The New Bedford Public School District was able to purchase the technology after the City Council agreed to Mayor Mitchell’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Proposal to invest $1 million in additional funds for the school department which was facing a budget crisis.

The City’s unprecedented investment in the school district was used to enable the schools to purchase adequate textbooks and other education technology tools to help students succeed.  The school department’s textbook accounts had previously suffered drastic cuts in order to plug deficits in other areas.

Mayor Jon Mitchell said, “We used a mixture of new revenue and spending cuts to close the school budget gap and I am pleased that as a direct result of the cooperation of the City Council and School Committee our students will have access to new textbooks and innovative, interactive technology in the classroom.”

New Bedford City Council President Steven Martins said, “The City Council believes in providing the right tools and technology necessary to help our New Bedford students succeed.  Supporting the budget proposal, we knew it would better help our children learn and succeed. We strongly believe that in shaping the future, our children and our schools must come first.”

New Bedford Streets; A Piece of Americana: Middle Street

Welcome to our fourth installment of New Bedford Streets; A Piece of Americana. I invite you to read up on the history behind William Street, Kempton Street and Ashley Boulevard. As usual, I’d like to re-iterate the importance of reader feedback, correction, and contributions. In the process of exploring these streets, I try to confirm or validate statements and dates by finding multiple sources. Unfortunately, if all those sources are making their statement based on an older, incorrect source, and there isn’t any dissenting information available, there’s no way to know otherwise. So by all means, please join in.

In addition, when trying to validate some statements, often there is very little to no information available. I haven’t decided which is worse – finding one source, or finding multiple sources, but not knowing if they were all based on an inaccuracy. So help from local historians, those who remember, oral histories and anecdotes handed down through the generations, people with private collections, and even know-it-alls help!

In this installment, we are going to explore a street steeped in history and importance. Not only is it one of the oldest streets in the city, it was at one time the lifeblood of the the city and a connector between Bedford Village and Oxford Village (Fairhaven): Middle Street.

Middle street wasn’t always named so. It was originally called Bridge Street, since it connected to the New Bedford/Fairhaven bridge. If you were to fly low – in let’s say a helicopter – straight along Middle street in New Bedford, you would arrive on Bridge Street in Fairhaven, the original name of Middle Street! Today where Middle street in New Bedford would have connected to the bridge is cut off by the Elm Street parking garage and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway or Route 18. After you pass the current bridge and over the causeway, this street turns into Huttleston Avenue. However, if you were to bear right before that at the Pope Island Marina and somehow drove across the water, you would eventually be driving on Bridge Street in Fairhaven.

Bridge TicketFairhaven/New Bedford Bridge; A slight Diversion
Today’s bridge seems to serve more as an interruption to traffic, so let’s stick with that theme and take a slight diversion at the monster responsible for the dubbing of Middle Street. The original bridge was was built under William Rotch’s direction (and assisted by many others) in 1796 and served as a toll bridge. The fare for crossing the bridge in 1800 is known since we not only have quite a few mentions of it in historical documents, but tickets can still be found. Here is what it cost in 1800 to cross the bridge:

  • 4 cents for each foot passenger.
  • 6 cents for a foot passenger pushing a wheelbarrow or hand cart.
  • 6 additional cents for a dozen head of cattle, swine, horses, or sheep.
  • 12 cents for each person and a horse.
  • 18 cents for each sleigh drawn by one horse, and 6 cents for each additional horse.
  • 36 cents for each coach, wagon or sled or other carriage of burden.

Keep in mind at this time, Fairhaven was still part of New Bedford. Fairhaven wouldn’t incorporate until later in 1812. In 1807, a great tide came in and swept the bridge away. Of course being a major thoroughfare a new bridge replaced the old. Alas, it lasted only 8 years before heavy winds blew it down.

New Bedford/Fairhaven Bridge in the 1800s.

On September 29, 1815 a massive storm slammed into the region and raised tides by over 10 feet. The devastation and damage was catastrophic. Hundreds of homes and businesses were wiped away, ships including the Lagoda were stove in, damaged or destroyed. The storm coincided with high tide and came in so quickly that people had to abandon their stations. This did irreparable damage in terms of the loss of historical documents, account books, logbooks, city and town records, and more. The flooding waters were said to reach all the way to County Street.

New Englanders, known for their stubbornness, thrift and industriousness licked their wounds and got to rebuilding, and simply put up a third bridge in 1819. The curse seemed to lift and the bridge got to it’s 50th birthday in 1869, before nature reared her mighty head and another gale blew the bridge down yet a fourth time! In the bridge’s fifth reincarnation it was no longer a toll bridge and it was free for all to pass.

In 1899, construction began on the bridge to modernize it, place a swivel in it’s center, and shift it slightly to the north where it connected to Fairhaven. This construction was completed in 1902. That’s the bridge we all “love” and sits there today. I know there are more than a few people who would love for a gale or epic storm to come and wash this bridge away a final time. However, keeping with the aforementioned New Englander attributes, it would simply rise from the ashes like some evil Phoenix, waiting for the moment you are pressed for time, late for an appointment, or felt like relying on the warning sign.

A new street is born out of necessity
On the New Bedford side of the Acushnet River, Bridge Street abutted the farm owned by the Kemptons. In 1788 Ephraim Kempton, son of William Kempton was the current owner of the farm. His farm lay smack dab in the middle of physical and economic progress of the two cities. After people would cross Bridge Street and enter New Bedford they typically would go north or south along the waterfront or the many markets and businesses that lay on streets like Front, Water, Rodman and Centre. It was only a matter of time before people would, out of necessity need to get to other parts of the city in a more direct manner.

Ephraim decided to build a street going through the middle of his farm that connected to Bridge Street so as to maintain the progress of the city. Eventually the name Middle Street came into common parlance and replaced the Bridge Street name. The foresight that Ephraim had was born out as within that year Middle Street would undergo two extensions. Within 10 years it would reach County Street.

Middle Street Timeline
c1759: Granddaughter of Joseph Russel mentions an Indian Wigwam sat in the woods in what would eventually be Bridge and Middle Street.
1788: John Howland purchases property on the south side of Middle street and extends a wharf from it. Throughout the year the street would be extended two more times. First extended to meet Water Street, then to 2nd Street.
1792: Matthew Howland builds Samuel Rodman’s first house on the southwest corner of Middle and Water Streets.
1798: Middle Street is extended to County Road (now County Street.)
1799: McPherson-Bullock house built.
1804: John Avery Parker builds his first of many homes on the southeast corner of Purchase and Middle Streets.
1806: Post Office is moved to a site on Middle Street.
c1813: John Howland builds stone building for an oil manufacturing company on the corner of Middle and Water. It stood where is now the front of the Standard-Times Building on the JKF Memorial Highway.
1832: Post Office vacates it’s spot on Middle Street and locates to a small wooden building on Union Street.
1833: John Avery Parker purchases property at the foot of Middle Street and it’s called Parker Block.
1833: Sixth Street was extended from Elm Street to Middle Street. North Christian Church, designed by Russell Warren in a Greek Revival Style.
1836: The Post Office-Customs House is built.
1837: Middle Street is extended from County Street to Summer Street.
1844: Middle Street School is built.
1845: New Bedford High School built on the corner of Summer and Middle Street.
1852: Portions of Middle Street receive public sewer works.
1859: Vessel the John & Edward, 20 buildings, and 8,000 barrels of oil are burned in a fire that destroys sections of Middle Street.
1869: Possible first use of Macadam roads at Bridge Square.
1881: New Bedford Co-Operative Bank opens at 125 Middle Street.
1889: The New Bedford Co-Operative Bank becomes the Acushnet Co-Operative Bank.
1901: Main Building at Parker Block/Bridge Square torn down.
1902: The New Bedford Home for the Aged is incorporated at 396 Middle Street.
1922: North Christian Church is demolished and replaced with Sear’s Roebuck Store on corner of Middle and Purchase Streets.
1970: Explosion at 2:30 a.m. at 209 Middle Street, Sully’s Inn and Italian Spaghetti House.
1973: Urban renewal leads to the demolition of many houses.
1976: Middle Street becomes one of the boundaries for the County Street Historic District.
1980: Middle Street becomes one of the boundaries for the Central New Bedford Historic District, which includes City Hall.
2011: Hurricane Irene sends 4 boats crashing into the New Bedford/Fairhaven Bridge.

If you have any corrections, additions, advice or anecdotes to share please comment below or e-mail us at ngbarts@gmail.com.

#01: Otis A. Sisson’s Soap Factory, 1869. Corner of N. Water and Middle Streets. By N.B. Whaling Museum.
#02: Elm Baptist Church circa 1920, Middle Street East of County. Photo by Joseph S. Martin.
#03: Christian Church circa 1870. Middle and 6th Streets with 2 children in foreground. By Stephen F. Adams.
#04: Old New Bedford Custom House Corner – Water and Middle Streets. Photo by Gifford R. Swain.
#05: Corner of Middle and Purchase Streets. Photo by N.B. Whaling Museum.
#06: New Bedford High School circa 1905 on Middle & Summer Streets. By N.B. Whaling Museum.
#07: McPherson-Bullock House on corner of Middle and North Second Streets circa 1905. By Fred W. Palmer.
#08: Parker Block/Bridge Square at the end of junction of Bridge and Middle Streets. By N.B. Whaling Museum
#09: Parker Block/Bridge Square rounding Middle Street to Front Street. By N.B. Whaling Museum.
#10: Health department – 116 Middle Street. By Spinner Publications.
#11: Looking down Middle Street 1934. By Spinner Publications.
#12: School at Middle and Summer Streets. By Spinner Publications.
#13: Northwest corner of Purchase and Middle Streets. By Spinner Publications.
#14: Purchase and Middle Street circa 1940s.

If you would like more photos like those in the gallery, both Spinner Publications and the New Bedford Whaling Museum have Flickr accounts with thousands of images.

Abraham Lincoln Elementary, A Model For Green Design

Abraham Lincoln School New BedfordNew Bedford’s Abraham Lincoln Elementary School was recognized along with five other schools in the Commonwealth for its sustainable “green” design elements.  The school was one of five schools in the Commonwealth honored by the “Green Schools Organization” as a green learning environment.  Mayor Mitchell presented the award to the Lincoln School today and spoke about the building’s energy efficient design features as well as efficiency measures implemented in other school buildings throughout the district.

“This project proves that while there are many costs that government incurs that are beyond our ability to control, with just a little bit of effort, we can sharply reduce the cost of heat and electricity that we consume,” said Mayor Mitchell.

The City of New Bedford worked with Daedalus Projects Inc., MVG Architects and their consultant team to design and develop a school that provides students with a 21st Century learning environment.  The 93,833 square foot elementary school serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade.  It features an auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria, library/media center, classroom spaces, and a recreation area which includes a synthetic turf field and resilient track.  The facility contains high efficiency systems and meets or exceeds all Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performance Schools requirements.

The Lincoln School’s green design features include:

  • Light colored membrane on roof surfaces to reduce the heat island effect.
  • School is sited in a central location within close proximity to public transportation basic services, pedestrian and bike access.
  • Synthetic playfield for student and public use eliminates potable water irrigation.
  • Contains on-site alternative energy sources for electricity production through installation of a 80kwh Photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof.
  • High efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems which exceed the MA Building Energy code by 30%; the majority of the classrooms are designed without air conditioning.
  • Recycles 90% of the waste generated by the school Diverted 90% of construction and demolition waste to recycling plant in lieu of a landfill.
  • Environmentally-friendly materials including recycled content, salvaged and certified wood materials were utilized.
  • Classrooms are designed with access to views and natural day lighting.
  • Protects students and staff health during occupancy by specifying walk-off mats, low-emitting materials, and high efficiency HVAC filters.
  • Created a school maintenance plan of all equipment for preventive and maintenance needs and adopt the Anti-Idling policy to reduce emissions.
  • The new school was built on the existing school site. The reuse of this site, promotes “Smart Growth” which protects undeveloped land and allows for the re-use of existing infrastructure, including: site utilities and roads.

The Abraham Lincoln School has also been designated a Model School by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Model School ProgramThe designation allows other communities to re-use the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School design as a model for their own school buildings.  Model school buildings are chosen by the MSBA for their optimal classroom space, efficiency, ease of maintenance, capacity, and their incorporation of sustainable “green” design elements.

In addition to the Lincoln School, the City maintains close to one-hundred buildings, including nearly thirty schools, and major water and wastewater facilities.  Many of the municipal buildings are antiquated and are costly to heat and cool.  Mayor Mitchell’s Fiscal Year 2013 City Budget includes funding for an Office of Energy Efficiency at the Department of Public Infrastructure.

The City has already implemented energy efficiency measures at several school buildings including Alfred J. Gomes Elementary, Hayden McFadden Elementary, Casmir Pulaski Elementary, Carney Academy, and Roosevelt Middle School. Such efficiency measures include:

  • Upgraded lighting
  • Hot water circulation pumps
  • Variable frequency drives (power electronics conversion device used to control air conditioner motor)
    • Motors
    • Upgrades to existing energy management systems (EMS)
    • Occupancy sensors
    • De-stratification fans (helps equalize building’s internal temperature)
    • Demand control ventilation (ventilation based on occupancy and actual activity)
    • Controls on exhaust fans, air handlers, unit ventilators and zones
    • Conversion from oil natural gas for heat

New Bedford’s Energy Director, Scott Durkee, estimates that efficiency measures adopted in school buildings to date have resulted in savings totaling over $400,000.00.

Mayor Mitchell added, “Being energy conscious is not just environmentally friendly, it is financially imperative.  New energy conservation measures implemented by DPI’s Energy Efficiency Office when put in place today will help us hold down our property tax bills tomorrow.”

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