Fairhaven Chronology: 1900 - 1949

1901, June 18: The George H. Taber Masonic Lodge building, financed by Henry H. Rogers, is dedicated. 

1902: The new Fairhaven-New Bedford Bridge is completed. 

1902: Financed by Henry H. Rogers, the new Atlas Tack factory opens at Pleasant Street.
Atlas Tack Factory
1902, May 18, The last Sunday service is held at the old Unitarian Church on Washington Street. Services will move to the recently completed parish house of the new church being built by Henry H. Rogers.

1902, July 12:Henry H. Rogers buys the remains of the former John Hawes farm consisting of 25 acres situated north of Bridge Street from the waterfront to Adams Street, including the old Academy Building. 

1902, September 8: Classes are held for the first time at the Rogers School Annex , or the Washington Street School. The former Unitarian Church building had been purchased and outfitted as a school by Henry H. Rogers and donated to the town.

1903: Spurred by a passing comment speech in an 1888 lecture on Fairhaven history by Franklin Dexter, the Fairhaven Improvement Association dedicates Cooke Memorial Park and installs a bronze plaque claiming that Mayflower passenger John Cooke was buried there.

1905, April 1: Ground is broken for the new Fairhaven High School, built for Henry H. Rogers by the firm of Brigham, Coveney and Bisbee. 

1905, May 21: The first Catholic Mass in Fairhaven is celebrated at Phoenix Hall by the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts.

St. Joseph's Church
1906, February 11: The original St. Joseph’s Church, on the southwest corner of Spring and Adams streets, is dedicated.

1906, April 11: In an informal ceremony on the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Fairhaven High School, Henry Huttleston Rogers, with family, close friends and town officials, dedicates the new Fairhaven High School, the last public building he donated to his hometown.

1907, May 7: Henry H. Rogers writes his will, bequeathing $100,000 in trust to the Town of Fairhaven  for the maintenance of the primary and grammar schools of Fairhaven.

1907, December 13: Fairhaven High School, the Academy Building, and the land at 12 Huttleston Avenue are transferred by Henry H. Rogers to the Town of Fairhaven.

1908: Two Providence, RI, doctors begin the manufacture of Gold Bond Medicated Powder in Fairhaven. The powder was packed into tin dispensers in the old Fountain Hall building on Main Street directly north of the Phoenix building. 

1908, June 21: The cornerstone is laid for the Church of the Sacred Hearts at the southwest corner of Main and Dover streets. 

1908, October 28: At a special town meeting Fairhaven accepts the gift of Robert Cushman Park from Henry H. Rogers. 

1909: Frederick T. Browne buys Levi Snow's drugstore business at the northeast corner of Main and Center streets and opens Browne's Pharmacy. 

1909, May 19: Henry H. Rogers dies at his New York home at the age of 69. 

1911, September 10: Sacred Hearts Academy opens on Main Street in North Fairhaven. 

1912: The Fairhaven Colonial Club is established in conjunction with the celebration of the town’s centennial. A collection of historical artifacts and art is collected by the group and displayed in the Academy Building. 

1912, February 28: Sarah (Cox) Anthony dies, leaving the Town of Fairhaven $10,000 in trust to be used for educational purposes in memory of her husband Edmund Anthony Jr., who had been publisher of the Standard-Times. 

1912, November 22: A Special Town Meeting adopts the division of Fairhaven into two voting precincts, the dividing line being the center of North Street, Long Road, Boston Hill Road and Oak Grove Lane. 

1914: Four rooms are added to the Oxford School and a cupola is added on the roof to house the “Paul Revere bell,” which originally hung atop Phoenix Hall. 

1914, May 14: Town Meeting votes to set aside a 12-acre portion of the Town Farm on the east side Main Street in North Fairhaven for park purposes. 

1915, May 1: The Oxford Branch of the Millicent Library is opened in a first floor room in the rear of Oxford School. Mr. Stanley Kendrick is placed in charge of the branch and its collection starts with 835 books, 70 of which are in French. 

1917, June 26: The town appropriates $38,000 for the building of the Job C. Tripp elementary school. 

1918, June 7: The children of Henry H. Rogers set up a trust fund of $479,000, the interest from which is to be use for “the support and maintenance” of Fairhaven High School. 

1918: July 4: In a ceremony at Fairhaven High School stadium, Japanese Ambassador Kikujiro Ishii presents a samurai sword to Fairhaven on behalf of Dr. Toichiro Nakahama, the son of Manjiro Nakahama. 

1920, September 25: The original Fairhaven High School on the west side of Main Street just north of the Fairhaven New Bedford Bridge is sold to building wrecker Alpide Cote of New Bedford for $550. The building is razed shortly thereafter.

Edmund Anthony School
1921, October 15: Construction of the 8-room Edmund Anthony Jr. elementary school is completed. It costs $72,927.90. 

1922, February 22: Whitfield's Premiere, Fairhaven first movie theater, opens at 54 Main Street, north of the Masonic Building. Built by Selectman Thomas Whitfield and managed by Alfred Nye the theater seats more than 550.

1922, April 16: The first service is held at the new Church of the Good Shepherd Church on Main Street. 

1922, July 3: The Princess Theatre, formerly Whitfield's Premier, opens under the new management of Allen-Charette Corp., owners of the Capital and five other New Bedford theaters.

1923, January 12: The American Theatre opens on Main Street opposite Oxford School. The new brick building has store fronts and the theater on the first floor and offices and a large hall above.

1924: Fairhaven establishes a Planning Board and begins the process of zoning properties.

St. Mary's Church
1925, March 1: The first Mass at St. Mary’s Church in North Fairhaven is celebrated by Fr. Charles De Baetselier. 

1925, May 3: The new St. Joseph’s Church on the northwest corner of Spring and Adams streets is dedicated. 

1926: Peirce and Kilburn Shipyard moves from New Bedford to the former Atlas Tack works at Rodman's Wharf on Fort Street. 

1926, April 13:Cara L. Broughton, daughter of Henry H. Rogers, presents selectmen with a check for $5,000 to be used for the purchase of Fort Phoenix, to be preserved as a town park. 

1928, February 11: Town Meeting votes to dedicate the triangular piece of land at the junction of Adams and Main streets in Memory of Ernest J. Benoit of Wilding Street, who was killed in World War I. 

Dr. J. N. Tessier's "Fairhaven Hospital"

1928, March 20: An early morning fire causes $12,000 damage to the unoccupied “Fairhaven Hospital,” owned by Dr. Joseph N. Tessier, located at 20 Fort Street. 

1929: New Bedford businessman John Duff sells 90 acres on the west side of Mill Road to Sound Airways, which will operate an airport serving Fairhaven and New Bedford. 

1929: William F. Nye Company builds a factory building just east of the Coggeshall Street Bridge and relocates its operation there from Fish Island in New Bedford.

1930, August 19: The 700 lb. carved wooden statue of Our Lady of Angels, created by sculptor Monteiro Borges of Oporto, Portugal, arrives in Fairhaven and is enshrined in St. Mary’s Church. 

1930, September 22: The first Feast of Our Lady of Angels is held in North Fairhaven. 

1930, November 4: A referendum vote approves an act to established representative government by limited town meeting in Fairhaven, 1,434 in favor, 572 opposed. 

1931, October: The first addition to Fairhaven High School is dedicated. The addition, costing about $212,000 to build and outfit, contains classrooms, shops and an auditorium. It is to be used primarily for junior high school classes. It connects to the rear of the main building by an underground passage. 

1933, March 23: Walter H. Francis, who had resigned as Fairhaven Police Chief about six weeks earlier, commits suicide with a razor in his home at 14 William Street.

1934: Huttleston Avenue, which originally ran from the Fairhaven-New Bedford Bridge to Adams Street, is extended as part of the new U.S. Route 6 to the junction of Spring Street, Washington Street and the “Mattapoisett Road.” 

1935: The American Theater in North Fairhaven becomes Keith Theater. 

1935, May 11: A new Cape Cod style cottage on Huttleston Avenue opens as the ice cream shop of the Rogers Brothers Dairy.

1935, September 3: Passenger service of the Fairhaven railroad line is discontinued. 

1936, October 21: President and Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt pay their last visit to the Delano Family Homestead at 39 Walnut Street following a campaign speech in New Bedford.

1937, October 17: Stop signs are installed at the intersection of Adams Street and Howland Rd.

1938, August 1: John B, DeGraw assumes control of the Fairhaven Star and the Dartmouth News.

1938, September 21: The “Great New England Hurricane of 1938,” the region’s worst storm of the century, strikes Fairhaven, destroying about 400 homes.

1939, May 18: In the Fairhaven Star, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Adams of the Tabitha Inn announces she will open a restaurant known as the Skipper in a building on Middle Street south of Huttleston Avenue that was formerly the home of Furnan's Yacht Agency.

1939, July 5: Livesey Memorial Park is dedicated in memory of Thomas Livesey. 

1940, January 10: High school principal Chester M. Downing announces that F.H.S. will cease athletic relations with Fall River’s Durfee High School because of “a series of unpleasant experiences.” 

1940, April 4: The cupola atop the Phoenix Building is removed. 

1940, June 8: The last Fairhaven electric trolley line, North Fairhaven, is replaced with a bus route.

1943: Fairhaven’s airport closes and the property once again becomes farmland.

Walter Silveira
1943, November: The Fairhaven Boys Club is granted permission to use the first floor of the former Washington Street School. 

1944, February 2: The former Tabitha Inn is dedicated at Our Lady's Haven, a Catholic nursing home.

1944, July 19: Walter Silveira, the first Fairhaven selectman of Portuguese descent, is elected to fill the unexpired term of the late Thomas Whitfield. Silveira will go on to serve 44 years in that office. 

1945, January 27: The Whitfield Building, 54 Main Street, originally the home of the Princess Theatre, is purchased by American Legion Post 166, which had been meeting at that location for several years.

1946: West Island, except for a tiny section of U.S. Government Land (at the watch tower) is owned by the West Island Co. of St. Louis. The island changes ownership twice during the year, being finally owned by Fairhaven Estates, a corporation established by real estate developer Arthur F. Gobron. Plans are made for the construction of 700 homes, but by 1950 only 150 will be built.

Methodist Church fire
1946, January 19: The Centre Methodist Church on the northeast corner of Center and Walnut streets is destroyed by fire. 

1946, June 21: The Macomber family opens Mac;s Soda Bar on Sconticut Neck.

1946, November 13: A fire causes heavy damage to the interior of Keith’s Theater on Main Street. 

1947: Sconticut Neck Improvement Association forms.

© COPYRIGHT 2003, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016. 2017, 2018 by Christopher J. Richard. All rights reserved.