May 2017

Greetings.

Last month I told you how I have been adding Acushnet attractions to the listings of places to visit on the Fairhaven Office of Tourism website. Since then I have turned my gaze to the east and started putting together pages for some nice spots in Mattapoisett. The list includes the Ned’s Point Lighthouse, the Mattapoisett Historical Society Museum, some of the nature trails on properties held by the Mattapoisett Land Trust and the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and other places that visitors might want to know about. One of the larger nature properties is right on Fairhaven’s border —the 371-acre Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, which can be reached by way of the Shaw’s Farm Trail off our Phoenix Bike Trail. Fairhaven’s bike path connects directly to the Mattapoisett Rail Trail, too. As time allows I will be adding other Mattapoistt places to the website. You can see what I’ve posted so far by visiting http://fairhaventours.com/mattapoisett-places/.

I do want to repeat, as I’ve mentioned in the past, the listings for both Mattapoisett and Acushnet include only public properties, non-profit institutions, and churches. No commercial businesses are promoted. However, any businesses from throughout our entire area who want to attract tourists can bring brochures, take-out menus, rack cards or fliers to the Visitors Center. There is no charge to display promotional material here, as space allows. Obviously Fairhaven things get top priority, but right now you can find a few brochures here about things in New Bedford, Westport, Onset, Plymouth, the Cape, and other communities.

May is bringing us some special events of interest. I will bring a few to your attention.

On Sunday, May 7, the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House and the Fairhaven Colonial Club will be holding the Cherry Blossom Friendship Festival at Cooke Memorial Park on Pilgrim Avenue from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Cultural activities in the park are free, but you can also purchase a ticket for a box lunch and tours of the Capt. Whitfield House and the Coggeshall Memorial House. To reserve tickets, call Gerry at 508-995-1219 or email Gerry@WMFriendshipHouse.org.

The Friends of the Millicent Library will be holding its annual meeting on Monday, May 8. They are planning a couple extra things to go along with that meeting. First, I will be guiding a walking tour to talk about the Rogers buildings in the center of town, stating at 4:30 p.m. outside the library. While my tour will walk around the outside of the Unitarian Church, I won’t be going inside. The church will be open, though, so that people can go inside on their own to see it. Following the Friends of the Library’s 5:30 annual meeting, there will be a public talk about architect Charles Brigham at 6:00 p.m. in the library auditorium. The speaker will be David J. Russo, an attorney from Watertown, MA, which was Brigham’s hometown. Brigham designed most of the Henry H. Rogers buildings in Fairhaven as well as many other structures throughout New England. The public is invited to Mr. Russo’s talk.

On Wednesday afternoon, May 10, at 3:00 p.m., there will be a book signing at the Historical Society’s Museum in the Academy Building by Stan Grayson, author of A Man for All Oceans, about Capt. Joshua Slocum. The book is being published by the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Tilbury House Books. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The event is being hosted by the Fairhaven Historical Society.

I will be guiding the season’s first Riverside Cemetery Walking Tour on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21, at 2:00 p.m. The tour begins near the sexton’s house close to the cemetery entrance. It will go on for about 90 minutes. There are some hills along the way and we don’t always stay on the paved paths, so comfortable walking shoes should be worn. The tour is free of charge. There is no need to register or sign up in advance. At the end of the tour, I’ll hand out copies of the eight-page Riverside Cemetery booklet, which includes a map and descriptions of nearly 50 burial sites. If you can’t make it to the tour in May there will be others during the summer, or you can pick up the booklet at the Visitors Center and guide yourself around.

On the last weekend of May, the Fairhaven Village Militia and the Office of Tourism will hold the spring historical encampment at Fort Phoenix. The Revolutionary War camp will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to sunset on Saturday, May 27, and from 9:00 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. The Saturday night is when the five big cannons get fired over the harbor at sunset (about 7:45 p.m.) During the two days, men, women, and children dressed in authentic period clothes will demonstrate a variety of activities from the 1770s, including campfire cooking, children’s games, musket firing, tin smithing, leather working, needlework and more. The encampment is every bit as interesting as anything you’d see at Old Sturbridge Village or Plimoth Plantation, except it’s right here in Fairhaven and it’s free! (Donations are accepted.)

Last but not least, the Memorial Day Parade will step off in the center of town at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29, and proceed north on Main Street to Riverside Cemetery.

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer.

As always, your comments, questions, or suggestions are welcome. You can email the Office of Tourism at FairhavenTours@fairhaven-ma.gov, call 508-979-4085, or stop by the Visitors Center, 141 Main Street. There are a few dedicated parking spaces in the high school lot. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a half-hour break around noon.

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