Fairhaven, Massachusetts enjoys a scenic location on Buzzards Bay in Bristol County. The town shares a harbor with the larger city of New Bedford, which is located just across a bridge, and is also bordered by Mattapoisett to the east and Acushnet to the north. The harbor is where the Acushnet River flows into Buzzards Bay and also where ferries to places like Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket depart.
The town is made up of eight distinct neighborhoods: North Fairhaven, East Fairhaven, Fairhaven Center, Oxford, Nasketucket, Poverty Point, Winsegansett Heights, and Sconticut Neck. Much of the town’s population is in Fairhaven Center, East Fairhaven, and Sconticut Neck, as the northern and eastern parts of the township are mostly forests and farmland. As a result, most of the homes for sale in Fairhaven, MA will be found in these areas. There is a small population on West Island, as well, which sits at the far south of town and is mostly undeveloped, but does feature the quiet and secluded West Island Town Beach.
Fairhaven has a population of about 16,000 people and is only 14.1 square miles in size, 12.4 miles of which is land. The town is only 32.6 miles from downtown Providence, making commuting a real possibility for those who want to work in the city and live in a quieter center. The town is about 60 miles from downtown Boston, making it a slightly more difficult, but still possible commute.
History of Fairhaven
Much of Fairhaven’s history is tied to the other communities in the region, as the land was first purchased by settlers in 1659 and became part of Dartmouth, another town in the area. In 1787, the eastern part of Dartmouth, which includes what is now New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Acushnet, split from the town and created a new settlement. In 1812, Fairhaven and Acushnet broke from New Bedford, becoming its own town, before Acushnet separated in 1860.
At one time, Fairhaven was home to a strategic military base because of its location on the Acushnet River. Fort Phoenix, part of which is still standing today, was responsible for protecting the harbor against enemy attacks during colonial times, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. The whaling industry was also significant in Fairhaven’s early years, as it drove the economy. In fact, by 1838, Fairhaven was the country’s second-largest whaling port and, as a result, was a very well-off area.
Things To Do in Fairhaven
If you’re just visiting Fairhaven before deciding on whether or not this is where you want to make your home, be sure to visit:
- Fort Phoenix
- West Island Town Beach
- Hoppy’s Landing
- Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House
- Shipyard Farm Trails
- West Island
If you’re looking to become one of the town’s newest homeowners, contact Demakis Family Real Estate’s nearby Mattapoisett office for more information. You can also create an account to save your searches and receive updates when homes you may be interested in hit the market!