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Fairhaven Summer Walking Tours –  2019

Fairhaven Summer Walking Tours -  2019

Whether you live in the area or you are just visiting, Fairhaven summer walking tours encourage you and your family to rediscover this richly historic and beautiful coastal town. Love where you live by learning something new! All are welcome to these summer events. Events are held weather-permitting. Free to the public.

For more information visit the Fairhaven, MA Office of Tourism website.


Industrial Icon Henry H. Rogers Walking Tours

Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:00am, enjoy the rich history of Fairhaven with a Henry H. Rogers walking tour starting outside of Fairhaven City Hall.

The 90-minute walk outlines the life of Standard Oil Co. executive Henry H. Rogers and the magnificent public buildings that he donated to his hometown. You’ll walk through the village area where one of the nation’s most powerful businessmen grew up while you learn about his boyhood, rise to riches, and the gifts he bestowed on Fairhaven. The tour includes visits inside the Millicent Library and the Town Hall. 


Pirates & Privateers Presentation at the Fort

Friday mornings at 10:00am, hear the seaworthy tales of privateers and pirates who dispel the myths of hollywood’s pirate accent, habits, and lives. Learn about stories of privateers in Buzzards Bay during the American Revolution, early medical practices, and witness a cannon-firing demonstration. The presentation starts at Fort Phoenix at the flagpole

Is there really pirate treasure buried on Sconticut Neck? Why might you become a privateer instead of joining the Navy? What’s the deal with the parrot on the shoulder?

Hear tales of pirates, Revolutionary War era privateers, and historical Fort Phoenix, presented by Greybeard, an 18th century gunner from the privateer sloop Broome, Abigail Black, a ship’s doctor who grows herbal remedies in her village garden when she’s not at sea, and Andrew the Powder Monkey, a boy who knows how to load and fire a cannon.

Learn which things really just myths based on fiction, the difference between pirates and “legal” privateers, and why grog wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Do you know when you “talk like a pirate” you’re just copying an actor from a 1950s Disney movie? Would you like to know more about treasure maps and walking the plank?

The pirate lore is enhanced by true stories of privateering in and around Buzzards Bay during the American Revolution. During the war, privateers vessels such as the Broome, Sally, Black Snake, Friendship, and Hornet, manned with local sailors, aided the rebellion against the Crown by capturing enemy ships in far greater numbers than the Continental Navy did. One of the most celebrated actions was the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War in May 1775, led by captains Nathaniel Pope and Daniel Egery. Eventually the local wharves were full of vessels captured by privateers. Such actions eventually provoked the British raid on our harbor in September of 1778.

These stories are told in detail during the Friday morning program.

This fun interactive presentation includes a demonstration firing of a black powder swivel cannon, a demonstration of early medical practices and more. While being fun and informative for adults, it is also appropriate for class field trips for grades 3 and up as well as for scout troops, clubs and home school groups.


Riverside Cemetery Walk

Visit the Riverside on a Saturday or Wednesday for the unique ambience of this rural cemetery and pay respects to several of the town’s most prominent residents. Tours occur Saturday Morning, 10:00 a.m. July 13, August 10, September 14, October 5 and Wednesday evenings, 6:00 p.m. July 24, August 21

Created in 1850 by Warren Delano II, the grandfather of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this is one of the most beautiful rural-style cemeteries in Massachusetts. You’ll also see lovely examples of early tombstone art as you walk along the beautifully landscaped paths. Tour includes walking on uneven ground. Note: Parking is allowed on the roads inside the cemetery, however two or three car lengths must be left open directly inside the gate. There are no public restrooms in the cemetery. 


Fairhaven High School - *Visitor’s Bureau Favorite*

How much did the beautiful Fairhaven High School cost to build? Only Henry Huttleston Rogers knows! But we do know that you will love this tour of the nation’s most beautiful high school. Take the tour on Fridays in July at 10:00am.

Tour the “Castle on the Hill,” which was donated to the town in 1906 by Fairhaven’s famous philanthropist Henry Huttleston Rogers. All tours will be conducted by FHS Alumni President Bob Foster and will meet in the Rotunda at the front of the building on the Huttleston Avenue (Route 6) side of the building. The tour goers will explore the beautiful rooms, auditorium and gymnasium of the 1906 building designed by Boston architect Charles Brigham. In 2017 Architecture Digest named Fairhaven High School the most beautiful high school in Massachusetts, and many would say the most beautiful in the United States. 

Note: The building is handicap accessible, but not all parts of the tour may be. Sponsored by the Fairhaven High School Alumni Association. For more information, email or call Bob at (508) 965-1399.


Unitarian Memorial Church Architectural Tour

Take a closer look at the stunning detail of Charles Brigham and Henry Huttleston Rogers picturesque Unitarian Memorial Church Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 to 4:00p.m., July and August.

Dedicated in October 1904, this English Perpendicular Gothic style “cathedral” was designed by architect Charles Brigham and built by Henry H. Rogers in memory of his mother Mary E. Rogers. It was built of local granite and Indiana limestone by European artisans including Italian stone cutters and Bavarian wood carvers. The stained glass windows were created by New York impressionist painter Robert Reid.

During the July and August tours, guides are on hand to describe the architectural details. Handicap accessible. Donations requested. For more information, call (508) 992-7081 or visit 


Manjiro Trail

*By appointment with the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society*

The Manjiro Trail includes site around Fairhaven that are closely associated with Manjiro Nakahama, the first Japanese person to live in America, who lived with the family of Capt. William Whitfield in the 1840s. Self guided sheets in both English and Japanese may be downloaded.

Email or call (508) 858-5303 or (508) 995-1219

To make special arrangements, accommodations, or for more information, call (508) 979-4085 or email

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