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10 Things to Know About Fort Taber

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One of New Bedford’s historical treasures and largest parks is Fort Taber-Fort Rodman on Clark’s Point. It’s an amazing location and that shapes the tip of the south end of New Bedford. To me, it’s important and fun to learn about your local history. Do you know why the fort has two names; Fort Taber and Fort Rodman? Most of the historical information used in this article was taken from the official Fort Taber- Fort Rodman Historical Association’s website and the City of New Bedford’s Fort Taber Park page.

Photo by Felix Vieira.

1. There was never a military battle at Fort Taber-Fort Rodman, but the fort deterred enemy navies from attacking our shipping and city during the civil war, World War I and World War II.

2. The United States first saw Clark’s Point as a strategic location during the American Revolution. A British raid in 1778 destroyed seventy vessels and twenty-six storehouses.

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16 comments

  1. Well done. Bob Bromley Curator Foirt Taber Fort Rodman Military Museum.

  2. Kathleen Burkhalter

    Capt. Robert E. Lee, later Gen. Robert E. Lee helped draw up the plans. This is an important piece of the fort’s history.

  3. Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcholics Anonymous, was stationed at Fort Taber during WW1.. It is said it is where he had his first taste of alcohol.

  4. It’s haunted! We investigate Fort Taber/Fort Rodman as part of our Legend Trips slate of events and raise funds to help with the restoration efforts. Visit http://www.legendtrips.com to learn more.

  5. The folks at the military museum explained to me that the fort was supposed to be three levels high instead of the two that it actually is. They said that a lot of the stone for that tier was on site and never used and it has been used around the park. Some of the cut granite that is used in the wall in front of the parking lot is the stone that was intended for the fort. You can see the finish cuts on many of the pieces.

  6. Henry Martyn Robert was assigned to Ft Taber with the Army Corps of Engineers. While he was posted there, he he began to write a book about parliamentary procedure, know to all as Robert’s Rules of Order.

    • My understanding is that years after being stationed at Ft Rodman he wrote the parliamentary procedures as a remembrance of overseeing a public meeting that turned unruly and out of hand at the First Baptist Church on William St while being stationed here in New Bedford. That is why it is do important to save the church as well.

  7. This is great! Only I’m not sure the park hours are correct – I was stargazing with my boyfriend last Saturday night at the park and we were kicked out by a police officer promptly at 10pm. We were so bummed out since we had only been there 20 minutes or so.

  8. The Army Reserve’s 483rd Engineer Battalion was stationed at the fort in the 80’s and 90’s.

  9. I grew up a few streets away from Fort Rodman, and as a kid I explored every inch of that place. It’s beautiful, educational, thought provoking and at times spooky. As an adult now, I will be investigating it with my fellow paranormal team.

  10. The 483rd engineer batallion, c and d company was at Fort Rodman from late 60s to early 90s. I was stationed there 69 to 75

  11. Just a FYI, there are no tunnels under Fort Rodman or Fort Taber. People have been saying for years that tunnels exist not true.

  12. Fort Rodman/Tabor was never completed.

    There are stone slabs you can sit on in front of the fort. Those slabs where intended to be added to the fort along with many others but when construction was halted in the late 1800’s the remaining supply was dumped in the surrounding Ocean.

    Cool fact is that Robert E Lee was stationed there for a time and some sources indicate that he was the architect although I am hesitant to confirm it.

  13. RickMass1@comcast Arruda

    The Naval Reserve was stationed there during the 60’s also. I attended monthly meetings there from 1965 to 1966. Then I went on active duty.

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