Fort Phoenix, overlooking New Bedford Harbor, was built during the Revolutionary War and was manned through the Civil War. It is a public park operated by the Town of Fairhaven and is open to the public during daylight hours. In the summer there are sometimes historical reenactors from the Fairhaven Village Militia on duty to talk about the fort's history. The Fairhaven Office of Tourism offers a historical presentation each Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. in June, July, August and September. The historical fort is directly adjacent to a public state beach with plenty of free parking.
Discover your Buzzards Bay at the Richard C. Wheeler Bay Learning Center, a free environmental exploration center located in downtown New Bedford’s Historic District. The Bay Learning Center is your destination to learn more about our local waters and how you can protect and enjoy them. The Bay Learning Center is home to a variety of unique, informative and interactive exhibits that help guide your discovery of Buzzards Bay, including: A 3-D, light-up map of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. Two fish tanks that show the difference between clean and polluted water. Interactive screens that display a real-time vessel tracking system and other Buzzards Bay sights and sounds. An outdoor artistic eelgrass meadow, with 12-foot-tall eelgrass sculptures lining a pedestrian plaza directly across from the New Bedford waterfront. (Free Wi-Fi available at plaza.)
The Fall River Historical Society (FRHS), the oldest cultural institution in Fall River, Massachusetts, is housed in a French Second Empire mansion that was once an Underground Railroad station. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure features a magnificent period interior, while our beautiful grounds with Victorian gardens provide a lush and memorable venue for functions such as weddings and cocktail parties. Visitors enjoy our first-rate Museum Gift Shop, our annual Holiday Open House, and The Easton Tea Room, a popular spot for parties, meetings, and children’s events. Our exhibits include the world’s largest collection of artifacts pertaining to Lizzie Borden and the Borden murder case, among them the alleged murder weapon and original crime scene photos.
The story of Lizzie Borden is a hair-raising tale that lives on through her home that is now a bed and breakfast/museum. Lizzie's room, as well as that of her father and stepmother’s, is available for stay if one feels brave enough to do so, but be warned that the house is known for its paranormal activities. The Lizzie Borden House has been named as one of the most haunted places in the United States.
Our Mission:The New Bedford Art Museum engages the public in experiencing, understanding and appreciating art. Since 1996, the New Bedford Art Museum has been a fixture in downtown New Bedford, offering engaging exhibitions of artwork from around the corner and across the ocean. Linger, learn and appreciate art and artistic expression as you stroll through the Museum's main Skylight Gallery. Discover new delights as you explore the Museum's home, a former bank that includes two vintage vaults, one with a distinctive circular safe door.
The Lloyd Center for the Environment, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, founded in 1978 and situated with its headquarters and spectacular nature preserve overlooking the scenic Slocum River estuary, has achieved a well-earned reputation for excellence in environmental research and education. Through its innovative outreach programs, it has established itself as a highly regarded leader in the ongoing effort to raise awareness of the area’s fragile coastal resources and the importance of protecting them.
The history of the original Old Colony is one that reaches from Rehoboth to Provincetown, and from Scituate to Dartmouth. It’s as distant as 1639 and as relevant as a moment ago. It is a history that plays like a page-turner, replete with epic battles, brash entrepreneurs, new-for-the-time technologies – and the stuff of everyday life. Things that happened in the Old Colony made the region what it is today and frequently influenced events worldwide.
The Old Stone Schoolhouse was the first one-room district school in Fairhaven. It was built in 1828 and used as a school until 1896. In 1843 Manjiro Nakahama, the first Japanese person to live in America, attended classes here. It is a stop on the Manjiro Trail. The Fairhaven Office of Tourism opens the restored schoolhouse to the public on Saturday afternoons in June, July and August. Hours are 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
In 1964, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including over 6000 school children, banded together to save the battleship, USS Massachusetts, from being scrapped, and bring her to the waterfront of historic Fall River on June 12, 1965. More than 500,000 people lined the shores of Narragansett Bay and the Taunton River that day to welcome their ship to the South Coast with cheers of jubilation and well wishes.