Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a private garden on three acres, south…
New Bedford, Massachuetts is located on the Acushnet River in what is known as the South Coast region.
It has a long history of involvement in the whaling industry. Today you can learn about that history in the city’s famous Whaling Museum downtown.
The Rotch-Jones-Duff House, not too far froin downtown, remains a cultural treasure of the city. [above]
The name speaks to the three families that have lived in the house.
The Rotch family in the eighteenth century owned, managed, and outfitted whaling ships.
By the early part of the 19th century New Bedford had eclipsed Nantucket as the nation’s pre-eminent whaling port and entered into what historians call the ‘Golden Age of Whaling.’
In 1834 William Rotch Jr., grandson of Joseph Rotch, built his mansion on County Street.
In 1850 Edward Coffin Jones purchased the house after the death of Rotch.
Amelia Jones, his daughter, inherited the home from her father and lived there for 85 years.
A third family, the Duffs, bought the house in 1936.
The Duffs saw to the renewal of both the interior of the house and the gardens. A landscape designer came on the scene to advise on the look of the garden.
In the 1980s the Waterfront Historic Area League purchased the house to preserve it and open it up to visitors to enjoy a bit of New Bedford history .
Today the garden has both a large rose collection as well as an extensive display of boxwood.
The house and garden are open to the public and certainly worth a visit.