The Charles W. Morgan
One of New Bedford's most famous whalers built in 1841 was once owned by one of the richest women in the world.
Hetty Green, heiress to the Howland whaling fortune was worth over 100 million in the late 1800's. A recluse dowager who's worth would be in the billions today squandered her money and led a bizarre life.
Hetty Green's shrewd investments in the stock market reached legendary heights and the Wall Street signs in New York has her silhouette emblazoned on them to this day. Her children were neglected and were not given proper medical attention because of the expense.*
*Some historians dispute this claim.
Her son, E.H.R."Ned" Green so badly in need of a doctor's medical attention eventually became crippled due to his mother's penchant for hoarding money at any cost. When she died, her son inherited her estate,becoming one of the richest and most eccentric men in the world. He was the epitome on just how far one could go with a "blank-check".
(above) The Charles W. Morgan being pushed by tug to a mooring at Pier 3 in New Bedford
Years after the whaling industry succumbed to a new fuel source - oil, whale ships were left derelict at their moorings or broken up.
The Charles W. Morgan, considered the flag ship of New Bedford - a city known at the time as The Whaling Capitol of The World was one of the only few square rigged whalers left and she too lay deteriorating at the Union Wharf in Fairhaven, MA. (below)
(above) The Charles W. Morgan tied up at The Union Wharf in Fairhaven was badly scorched on her port side as a ferry boat burned to its water line and drifted up against the vulnerable whaler in 1924. The vessel was saved from being destroyed by the Fairhaven Fire Dept.
Col E.H.R. Green acquired his late mother's ship and carefully restored it back to its original condition and moored the vessel at his vast estate at Round Hill, South Dartmouth, MA as a popular floating museum in the mid 1920's.
This rare film shows the Charles W. Morgan (above) being towed into place. One of the last surviving whaling skippers at the time Capt George Fred Tilton (right) greets a friend at the bow of the ship and instructs a young boy (below) on the theory of sailing with a little carved wooden toy sailboat.
The Charles W. Morgan was fully restored. (below)
(The painted gun ports were not a feature when the Morgan was in service as a whaler.) This carefully documented and choreographed film depicts the arrival of the famous Col E.H.R.Green in his well known custom built - chouffer driven electric car.(below)
A stunning close-up of the Colonel all smiles and a car full of pipe smoke greets his guests.
His demeanor didn't show a man who grew up in unnecessary poverty and neglect, but a jovial happy man now enjoying a spending spree of epic proportions at his vast playground-enclave. (above)
At the clips end - The Charles W. Morgan was lit up from lights used from the Colonels nearby airport - which had the first illuminated airport in the country. (below)
(Above) Two ships at Round Hill, South Dartmouth, MA 1933
The "Charles W. Morgan" and the Goodyear Blimp "Mayflower" are seen together in this rare photo taken at the Col Green Estate c1933. Round Hill Airport had some of the most exotic aircraft of the time come and go from the airstrips. the "Mayflower" had its own large hanger were the airship was stored and serviced. More rare photos are being processed an will be added to this page soon. From The MLBaron Historic Archives.
From the site where aircraft from around the world landed there, to the splitting of the Atom for the first time by MIT scientists, this brief moment of exciting times came to end with the passing of Col E.H.R.Green in 1936 at 67yrs old.
Vintage 1927 Postcard of The Charles W. Morgan of "Whaling Enshrined" at Round Hill (above)
The now neglected Morgan was aging quickly and was battered by The Hurricane of 1938. It was once said that those who could afford to maintain it as a floating whaling museum didn't care, and to those who did couldn't afford to do so.
In November of 1941 the Charles W. Morgan was towed away from its South Dartmouth berth to find a new home (above) in Mystic Connecticut where it remains today on permanent display as the showpiece for The Mystic Seaport Museum.
Remains of the main Round Hill estate have been converted to high end luxury condominium's.
Vintage 1927 Postcard of The Colonel EHR Green Estate at Round Hill, Dartmouth, MA (above)
The original corroded film was painstakingly restored and saved by The MLBaron Historic Archives.
September 3, 2013
SOUTH DARTMOUTH: A mysterious wooden structure discovered in South Dartmouth, MA has been identified through researching the photo library of The MLBaron Historic Archives.
Below is the original email sent to me asking if I could be of assistance in identifying this wooden structure:
I see you've done extensive research into the Charles W. Morgan which once stood proud at Round Hill in South Dartmouth.
During the early 90s, my ex-husband and I bought the old caretaker's cottage at Round Hill, which we later sold as part of a divorce settlement in the early 2000s
In 2009, my kids and I went back to Round Hill, where I took some digital pictures of the remains of what looks to be an old boat. I remember when we owned our summer place, we would hear stories of it being part of the C.W. Morgan. Was this fact of fiction? I'm including pictures with this email and would appreciate any info you might have! These old remains are located along the road to the South (swimming) Beach, adjacent to the Golf Course.
Our research results and reply:
That is the replica section of a whale ship that was on display complete with mast on the south side as you refer to. It was a partial hull section showing the mechanics of the rigging and whaling gear. The brick work was the try-works area where the whale blubber was boiled into whale oil. The display was part of Col. Green's Museum - Whaling Enshrined.
The land-based exhibit was a few hundred feet away from The Charles W. Morgan. See hull section in photo (above) as it once looked upper right in the attached photo c1931 on the grounds at Round Hill where it remains in the same location today. Hope this was of help to you. Let me know your thoughts. You provided great photos - hopefully the discovered structure can be preserved somehow!
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