Beginning the Tour

Beginning the tour-Downtown New Bedford

In the vicinity of the National Park Service Visitor’s Center on William Street, several historical sites can be viewed on foot that are not included in this publication.

From the Visitor’s Center, turn left, and continue down William Street to Second Street. Turn left onto Second Street, and directly across the street is the Rodman Candleworks.

Rodman Candleworks 
Rodman Candleworks

Our tour begins at the Rodman Candleworks, a federal-style building built in 1810. Aaron Lopez, a Portuguse Jew from Newport, did business with the Rotch family of Nantucket and had many business dealings with the whaling ships of the area. As he had learned the art of candlemaking, it is 
appropriate that we pay tribute to the early Portuguese Jews from Newport, 
Lopez and his father-in-law, Jacob Rodriguez Rivera, who made many 
contributions to this industry.

The Rodman Candleworks, which houses the Candleworks Restaurant, was built in 1810 by local Quaker Samuel Rodman the Federal style which houses Candleworks Restaurant today. 

The adjacent streets in this historical area of “Bedford Village” were filled with merchants and shipwrights who provided the whaling ships with necessary supplies in between whaling voyages.

Looking towards the waterfront, down Hamilton street, from Water Street
Looking towards the waterfront, down Hamilton street, from Water Street 
 

Early postcard of the waterfront area during whaling days
Early postcard of the waterfront area during whaling days 

Sign showing North Water Street 

North Water Street today
North Water Street today, looking South

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