Rotch Jones Duff House & Museum and Car Hire Boston
The Rotch Jones Duff House & Museum, located at 396 County Street in New Bedford, Massachusetts is a National Historic Landmark and a part of the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park. The house's name comes from the three families who had been very closely tied to the city's 19th century dominance in the whaling industry.
From the ground up
The Rotch-Jones-Duff House was built by Richard Upjohn in 1834 for William Rotch in the Greek Revival architectural style. Rotch also eventually commissioned a garden in the rear of the house. The property remained private until 1981, when it was bought by local preservationists and reopened as a historic house museum. It was declared a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. When you visit the Rotch Jones Duff House & Museum with your car hire Boston today you will find that the museum educates visitors not only about whaling but, through its gardens and associated programs for local schools, about the environment as well.
A little history
Joseph Rotch had been one of the early settlers in New Bedford. He saw the potential for the town to grown into a major whaling center, even surpassing Nantucket, then the center of the industry in the colonies. The town went through some setbacks caused by the Revolution and the War of 1812 however by the late 1820s New Bedford was catching up to Nantucket. Ship captains and owners grew wealthy and built themselves homes in the County Street area. You can still see some of the houses today when you travel with your car hire Boston. By 1851, New Bedford had completely displaced Nantucket as the center of American whaling.
Edward Coffin Jones, a successful ship owner originally from Nantucket, bought the house for $17 000. The Joneses expanded the garden, adding the pergola.One of his daughters, Amelia Hickling Jones, lived there for the next 85 years, becoming a major civic benefactor as the city transitioned from whaling to textiles as the mainstay of its economy. With no heirs, the property was put up for sale when she died in 1935. In the following year, Mark Duff, a descendant of one of New Bedford's whaling families bought the house. Under the direction of Boston landscape architect Mrs. John Coolidge, they redecorated it extensively and planted 7,000 tulip bulbs in the garden, as well as adding landscaping, walkways and ornamental ponds. In 1981, Duff decided to sell the home to the Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE (WHALE), a local historic preservation group that had been instrumental in restoring, protecting and establishing the nearby New Bedford Historic District, a National Historic Landmark. WHALE's goal was to save it from commercial development and turn the house and garden into a museum, which it opened in 1983. In 1996 it became the only city property outside of the New Bedford Historic District to be included as part of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
Before you go?
The Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden are open daily (except major holidays). Admission is charged except for the second Thursday evening of every month except January, when it is free. Several educational programs are available, using the house and gardens to teach students about botany, beekeeping and whaling, with teacher support material available online. High school and college students may work as interns. The grounds and gardens are also available for weddings, wedding photos and other ceremonies or occasions. So make sure to check ahead before you travel with your car hire Boston.
For more information when you travel to the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden with your car hire Boston check out their official website at www.rjdmuseum.org or call (508) 997 1401.
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