Archives & Special Collections
Harold Clasky and Clasky Common Park
To reach this park from downtown New Bedford, drive up Union Street to County Street. Turn right on County Street and continue to drive north for about 2 miles.
Clasky Common is a park on County Street named for Harold H.J. Clasky, a popular political figure in New Bedford. The park was renamed for him and dedicated on October 13, 1969. Each year during holidays in December this park is lighted and decorated.
Harold Clasky was a Jewish state senator noted for work he accomplished in the community. Born in Russia in 1896, he lived his early life in Brockton and moved to New Bedford in 1931. He served as a New Bedford Councillor-At-Large from 1952-1953 and 1956-1965 and as a Massachusetts State Senator representing the 3rd Bristol District from 1965 to 1969. Originally a life insurance agent by trade, he was involved in a number of local organizations including the American Legion, the Jewish War Veterans, and the Jonah Lodge of the B’nai Brith. He died in 1969.
According to one who knew him, “Senator Clasky was a most approachable and magnanimous man who served as a model of inspiration to every one, no matter his or her faith, background or creed. He always had courage and will for a devoted and longtime career for public service. He brought no arrogance of power to office, only dedication, devotion and a loyalty to the people he represented–a rare example of a man of the highest integrity and principle. Succinctly, he was an outstanding man of our times, a man of singular achievement, a righteous American, a superb politician and, above all, a decent human being of quintessential good will and civility.” (quote from Mel B. Yoken, Ph.D., Chancellor Professor of French, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.