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By Roger Chartier


Local New Bedford, Ma.
1910 - 1919 In Chronological Order
Follow the timeline through the years

1918 Union and Purchase Street new Bedford, Ma. -

Corner of Union and Purchase Street - 1918

The Acushnet Processing Plant began to re-process tires and waste was dumped into the Acushnet River. In a study in 1920, it was considered objectionable.

The company now known as "The Acushnet Company" makes Titleist golf balls, and they are thought of to be the best golf balls in the world.


1910 May 10,
Was the due date for a library book that was not returned and thus started the overdue charges of a penny a day. By the time, it was returned the fine came to $361.35.

The book, "Facts I Ought to Know about the Government of My Country" didn't get returned for nearly a century.

Stanley Dudek returned the book on December 16, 2009. He found the book among his deceased mother's things.

He was given a dispensation and didn't have to pay. The book will be kept on display at the main branch of the New Bedford Free Public Library.

Population was 96,652. A huge jump from the 62,442 of 1900.

St. Luke's purchased the New Bedford Orphans Home on Taber Street.

This was on property adjoining the hospital grounds and was used for a ward for women and children. It also had accommodations for nurses.
A 1906 fire in the city hall brought about it's use as the library in 1910. (See 1906 for fire photo)

The old library at 133 William street moved across the street to the beautiful granite and newly renovated building that it is now occupying at 613 Pleasant Street.

The city hall offices had moved across the street following the fire to the former brick library building at
133 William Street, where they are today.

Although New Bedford played Fall River in Football as far back as perhaps 1890, it was in 1910 that the first Thanksgiving game was played.

The rivals have been playing since then with only a single 6 year hiatus prior to 1918.

Sergeant Field now called Paul Walch field was established as the official location for the New Bedford home team in 1910.

 Most of the mill construction stopped.

The New Bedford Animal rescue League was founded and opened.

June 22 The "Circus In America" came to New Bedford
The YWCA - (Young Women's Christian Association) was formed.
It found a building and occupied it in 1924.
April 15th
, This date was the Grand Opening of the Orpheum Theater, and unfortunately, the night that the Titanic was sunk.. The Orpheum Theater was built by "Les Franc Tireurs" a French Canadian association of sharpshooters etc., and construction began in 1910. The Orpheum Theatre was also known as the French Sharpshooters Hall. As of 2011 a preservation group, Orpheum Inc. is working to save the theatre.

A new interceptor sewage line was begun to divert the sewage to the tip of the south end at Clark's Point.

The work stopped in the 1920's as only 5 of the 9 pumping districts were finished being built.

Work resumed in 1947 yet there was still dumping of some of the waste into the river.

There are 15 theatres listed in the City Directory.
They are Allen's, Big Nickle, Casino, Columbia, Hathaway's idle Hour, Liberty, National, New Bedford, Orpheum, Pastime, Royal, Savoy, The Comique and Viens.
June 20th The statue of the Whaleman in front of the New Bedford Free Public Library was given to the city by William W. Crapo. It had been sculpted by Bela Pratt
A Massachusetts law was passed preventing gay and lesbian people from marrying.
The idea for this law came from efforts to stop interracial marriages and to stop the crossing of state lines to marry.
The law was repealed in 2008.
A petition signed by 6,000 New Bedford residents brought about the vote for widening of Purchase street on the west side from Union to Elm by 16 1/2 feet.
Union Street was widened from Purchase up to Sixth street. See an example of the "before view".

Mayor Ashley also initiated the vote for widening at a great cost to the city.
For Purchase Street, it was $373,885.72.- in damages and $22,114.28 for the street work.
For Union Street cost $119.092.35 in damages and $8,907.65 for the street work.

The Merchants Bank Building on William and Purchase was completely rebuilt.
This allowed for improved traffic flow and the laying of tracks for street cars as well as ease of two way traffic on Purchase street.
Sid Wainer and Sons started it's business in New Bedford and is still operating in the city.
The company has yearly sales of about $120,000,000.00 and specializes in specialty produce and foods.
The Cape Cod Canal opened in this year, and New Bedford mariners and ships and ferry boats got to cut 66 miles from the trip to Boston from New Bedford.

Previously the trip had been around Cape Cod and involved some more dangerous navigation.
1914 July 29,
The official opening of the Cape Cod Canal brought a grand parade of ships from New Bedford for the official opening.

The steamer "Rose Standish" was one of the first ships let through the canal during the opening ceremonies.

Among it's passengers, were the canal company executives and some government officials.

This was the first year of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament.

Every year it draws crowds of thousands of people of Portuguese and non-Portuguese descent.
It is one of the biggest feasts in the country.

The traditional Feast was started in 1915 by four men from Madeira who missed the "festas" back home in Madeira.

1915, Public Health Report,
At this time, there was an outbreak of virulent smallpox.
Between May, 15 and July 28th there had been 23 reported and quarantined cases of smallpox.
Ten were fatal. Four cases were of the hemorrhagic type, and ten were confluent.

The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra is organized.

June 11, The Ringling Brothers Circus, came to New Bedford.

The half scale model of a whaleship, the "Lagoda" was built during 1915 -1916 in the Bourne building, It is the largest ship model in the world.

The buiilding construction was funded by Emily Howland Bourne in memory of her whaling merchant father Jonathan Bourne Jr. on Johnny Cake Hill.

X-ray equipment introduced to St. Luke's hospital
The Cape Verdean Beneficent Association of New Bedford, the oldest Cape Verdean organization in America, was established in 1916 and was finally incorporated in 1920.

Hetty Green, who was known as the "Witch of Wall Street," was the richest woman in the world when she died in 1916.

She had managed through shrewd investment, and fanatical miserliness to be worth $100 million.

Read the book of her life "The Day They Shook The Plum Tree".

The Olympia theater is built on 883 Purchase street. It had a combination of live entertainment and movies for it's run.

Will Rogers performed there in 1921. The famous movie made in New Bedford about whaling, "Down To The Sea In Ships" had its national release in February 1923.

The World Premiere was at The Olympia on September 25, 1922.

The theater ran a morning matinee in the mid forties, and it was a massive hit with thousands of kids going in for the live entertainment, cartoons, serials, and feature films.

Regular shows were on in the afternoon and evening.

The Zeitz family bought the theater in 1962.

The last show was a live theatrical performance of "Barefoot In The Park" that sold out. Conflicting reports say that the facility had 2,300 seats or 1284 Orchestra seats and 1118 balcony seats for a total of 2,472.

The theater closed in 1971 and was demolished in 1972.
In July - a category 1 storm came through New Bedford and the center of it moved north from the open Atlantic, crossing Buzzards Bay/Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. Hourly wind reports indicated sustained 50 mph (80 km/h), but actual winds were higher than hourly observations. Gusts of 85 mph (137 km/h) recorded in southeast Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

1917 December
The New Bedford Fire Department had shed the old steam engines and horse drawn vehicles and was totally motorized.
Fairhaven Mills building is constructed and served many uses in its lifetime.
It was changed from being a factory to being a discount retail outlet for many years and finally as an Antiques Mart

It was demolished in 2009, to make way for a Home Depot that never got built there after all.

The grand opening of the new "Market Basket" was on Wednesday, October 6, 2010.
The discount supermarket was set back from Coggeshall Street at 122 Sawyer street where the rear part of the Fairhaven Mills complex had been. Initial low prices brought the hordes in to shop.
April 2, Woodrow Wilson was set to go to war with Germany to fight, in his famous phrase, to make the world “safe for democracy.”

On April 4th, the Senate voted 82–6 in favor of a fight and on April 6th Congress favored the decision 373–50, calling for a state of war to exist between the United States and Germany.

Many men from New Bedford went to war.

A New Bedford man, Albert L. Audette, was fortunate in that he spoke perfect French, and while serving in France became a driver and interpreter for a high ranking officer.

After the war, he rose to become a lieutenant on the New Bedford Fire Department.
Ringling Brothers Circus came to town on June 21.
1913 - MAil parcel post delivery wagon - New Bedford, Ma. -
1913 US Mail - Parcel Post Delivery
early 1900's Pleasant Street New BEdford - post office and new bedford hotel -
Early 1900's Pleasant Street - Post office and New Bedford Hotel


Hetty (Henrietta) Green -
Hetty (Henrietta) Green
The richest woman in the world at one time.
Nov. 21, 1834 – July 3, 1916
Colonel Green -
Colonel Green
Son of Hetty Green
City Hall in New Bedford -
This was the library until 1910 when a fire caused the city to move the offices of City Hall into this building at
133 William Street,
and put the library across the street at
613 Pleasant Street