New Bedford in Bristol County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Ship carpenters, caulkers, spar makers, riggers, sailmakers, stevedores, ship keepers, coopers, gaugers, and oil fillers scurried about Merrill's Wharf readying ships for the rigors of sea. The return of a ship to port brought merchants, mechanics, and loved ones to welcome home the crew and appraise the offloaded bounty.
In 1848 Merrill built the granite building you see on the wharf's south side, which became known as the Bourne Counting House for Jonathan Bourne, Jr. Whaling agents like Bourne set up counting rooms on the second floor and stored whalebone, ship provisions, and equipment on the first. Sailmakers and riggers occupied the third and fourth floors.
Edward Merrill retired from whaling in 1833 and built an oil manufacturing plant near here. After it burned in 1842, he decided to invest his capital "where it would not suffer" and so built the
There is today an odor of whale oil about Merrill's wharf, contributed by a few hundred casks of oil that happen to be stored there at this time, which brings back memories of departed days to the old citizen who gets a whiff of oil and seaweed once so familiar.
Zephaniah W. Pease, April 1916
Erected by National Parks Service, Department of the Interior.
Location. 41° 38.018′ N, 70° 55.255′ W. Marker is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on MacArthur Drive south of Elm Street, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. This marker is located in the downtown area, along the waterfront, in the vicinity of the New Bedford Harbor, Ferry Terminal. Marker is in this post office area: New Bedford MA 02740, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Whaling's Final Days (a few steps from this marker); Lost Lightship Sailors Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Cape Verde to New Bedford (within shouting distance of this marker); Ernestina's Many Lives (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonel George Claghorn From Whales to Bales (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Commonwealth of Toil (about 500 feet away); The Dartmouth (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in New Bedford.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 196 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.