New Bedford Port Society
Founded in 1830, the New Bedford Port Society maintains the historic Seamen’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home located on top of Johnny Cake Hill in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. They are known as the oldest and most iconic landmarks in the city that tell the story of New Bedford’s development as the country’s prominent whaling and then port and honor the whalers and fishermen who lived, and sometimes lost, their lives at sea. Serving the maritime community for over 175 years, the Seamens’ Bethel is also the site of dozens of non-denominational weddings, christenings and memorial services each year through volunteer clergy.This year the Port Society completed a major restoration that connects both landmarks through a joint public entryway with handicap accessibility. Through this initiative, the Seamen’s Bethel expects an increase in guest attendance as the Mariner’s Home will lease space for a world-class maritime exhibit aligned with the historical mission of the Port Society. The second and third floor are now repurposed as office spaces for preservation-based non-profits.