U.S. Custom House-Customary Duty
New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Replacing a makeshift operation closer to the waterfront, the U.S. Custom House at Bedford opened on this site in 1836. Here ship captains walked up the granite steps to register their crews and declare their cargoes before they were granted clearance to leave or enter the port.
The custom house was built at a time when the nation was flush with customs-generated income. Duties collected on imported goods paid for roads, railroads, lighthouses, and countless public buildings. This custom house directly linked whaling and New Bedford to the engine of the U.S. economy and to the works of the young federal government.
New Bedford’s custom house was designed by Robert Mills, later designer of the Washington Monument. Built almost entirely of granite, it was one of the first entirely fireproof federal buildings. This is the oldest continuously operating custom house in the United States.
The photo is the U.S. Custom House at New Bedford, 1870
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics
Location. 41° 38.124′ N, 70° 55.458′ W. Marker is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on North Second Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 37 North Second Street, New Bedford MA 02740, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Signs of the Time (a few steps from this marker); The Andrew Robeson House (a few steps from this marker); Civil War’s First Black Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); Heroes of Fort Wagner (within shouting distance of this marker); New Bedford Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Bourne Warehouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mariner's Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Preserving Whaling's Legacy (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bedford.
Also see . . . U.S. Custom House, New Bedford, MA. General Services Administration, Historic Buildings entry (Submitted on March 13, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 4, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 479 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 4, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 2. submitted on August 25, 2017, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 3. submitted on January 4, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 4. submitted on January 5, 2013. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.