UMassD Swain School of Design 1881 - 1902
Officially incorporated in 1881, the Swain School of Design was originally planned in 1857 when New Bedford oil and shipping magnate, William W. Swain drew up his will setting aside a portion of his fortune and homestead at 391 County Street for the establishment of a free school. It officially opened with a class of 80 students on October 25, 1882.
Classes took place in William Swain’s home at 391 County Street, a building occupied by the school until arson claimed it in 1948.
Intended as an institution in higher education, classes initially concentrated on English, History, French, German, Drawing and Painting. In the second year, Latin, Greek and Chemistry were added. Other subjects in the early years were Mathematics, Geographics, Music (harmony), Logic, Italian and Portuguese.