New Bedford in Bristol County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Preserving Whaling's Legacy
The New Bedford Whaling Museum
In 1915, in the waning light of whaling's final decade, Emily Howland Bourne financed the construction of a museum building to honor her whaling merchant father, Jonathan Bourne, Jr. This marked the first steadfast effort to preserve New Bedford's whaling legacy. Housed here today are the world's largest collections of whaling art and artifacts, spanning seven continents and seven centuries.
The museum reflects the skill, industry, craftsmanship, and artistry inspired by whaling. within its walls are whalebones, whale products, harpoons, replica whaling ships, and whalebone's journals and art. Though the whaling age has passed, its memories live on.
Using a knife or a sailmaker's needle, whalemen etched intricate figures or scenes into the whalebone. Rubbing in black ink, tar, soot, or tobacco juice highlighted the designs and produced what came to be called "scrimshaw."
Hunting the hugest monster of the oceans, bringing fame and fortune to our city, has long since ceased. For more than a century this hill was at the heart of the intensive life of New Bedford.... It is now a place of memories. It is well for us ... to preserve them.
Henry H. Crapo, 1934
Erected by National Parks Service, Department of
Location. 41° 38.128′ N, 70° 55.408′ W. Marker is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on Johnny Cake Hill south of Williams Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. This marker is located in the downtown area, just outside of the plaza, in front of the main entrance to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. 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. The Mariner's Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Double Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); New Bedford Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Centre Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Viking (within shouting distance of this marker); Seamenís Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Andrew Robeson House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Seamen's Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bedford.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 3, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 187 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 3, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.