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If you have any public domain photographs of historical interest to donate, whether scanned or printed please contact the webmaster, Roger Chartier and your submission will be credited if it is displayed on this site.

By Roger Chartier


Home of Abraham Howland
The First Mayor of New Bedford

Better known as the William Rotch Rodman House

In these two photographs of 388 County Street, you can see different views of the home of New Bedford's first mayor, Abraham H. Howland who bought it in 1865 for $25,000.00.
He kept his office in this granite mansion until his death in 1887.

He was elected in 1847 immediately after New Bedford was first incorporated.
At that time, the population was around 22,000.

This home was originally built for bank president and whaling merchant William Rotch Rodman in 1833 and designed by architect Russell Warren.

After that, it was owned by the heirs of Frederick Grinnell and Horatio Hathaway.
In 1909, it was bought by Joseph Knowles who was an executive for a local mill. He lived there until his death.
Next was a New Bedford physician, John Gael Hathaway who lived there until he died in 1909.
The mansion was bought by Walter H. Langshaw and kept by him from 1919 to 1945.

The people who lived here over the years enjoyed the good life and had money to live well, some due to the wealth accumulated from whaling and shipping industries.

It was bought by the Jewish Community Center and renovated for that use finally opening on March 23, 1947,
and was used by the group until 1972.
That year the Swain School of Design bought the mansion.

In 1988, it was sold to the William Rodman Partnership, who still owns it as of 2010.
The excellent restoration work that they did on the mansion won the 1990 Preservation Award from the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Below there are two images one an older image and another from the 1900's - click to enlarge
Abraham H. Howland Home first mayor of New Bedford, Ma -

Home of  Abraham H. Howland first mayor of New Bedford, Ma.  -