Cushman Park (donated 1908)
Park surrounded by Main, Bridge, Green and Spring streets
The last gift given to the Town of Fairhaven by Henry H. Rogers before his death was Cushman Park. The area previously had been the site of a the swampy Mill Pond of about 5.5 acres fed by the Herring River.
At the turn of the 20th century the pond was considered a blight—a noxious breeding ground of moquitoes. Rogers bought the properties around the Mill Pond and hired engineer Joseph K. Nye to supervise its drainage and filling. The Herring River was diverted underground through a conduit that empties just north of the Fairhaven-New Bedford Bridge. From 1903 to 1905 a crew of laborers transported close to 200,000 tons of fill via a small gauge railroad on Bridge Street and dumped it into the pond. After the pond was filled, parts of Bridge Street were raised, and Park Avenue was laid out, the park was beautifully landscaped with driving paths, trees and shrubs.
Once a lush green lawn was established and the ornamental plantings took root, the new park was turned over to the town at a Special Town Meeting held on October 28, 1908, at the Town Hall. Rogers asked that the park be named after Robert Cushman, an ancestor of his who had helped to organize the voyage of the Mayflower to the New World in 1620.
Today the park has ball fields, tennis courts, a running track, a playground, and a band shell, none of which were park of the original layout.