Padanaram, Massachusetts

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Padanaram Village Historic District (South Dartmouth, MA)
DartmouthMA Padanaram SouthworthLibrary.jpg
Southworth Library
Padanaram, Massachusetts is located in Massachusetts
Padanaram, Massachusetts
Padanaram, Massachusetts is located in the US
Padanaram, Massachusetts
LocationDartmouth, Massachusetts
Coordinates41°35′8″N 70°56′30″W / 41.58556°N 70.94167°W / 41.58556; -70.94167Coordinates: 41°35′8″N 70°56′30″W / 41.58556°N 70.94167°W / 41.58556; -70.94167
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Late Victorian, Federal
NRHP reference #85002010 [1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 5, 1985

Padanaram is a coastal village in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, United States. As the Boston Globe stated, "It's where life slows down." The Buzzards Bay swing bridge which opens every hour to allow the many sailboats to pass in and out of the harbor literally slows things down. Locals and visitors alike find the charm in this purposeful pause as this is the quintessential capturing of life in this coastal village. Padanaram is part of Southern New England's Farm Coast, and the Coastal Wine Trail. It lies along Buzzards Bay with Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cuttyhunk Island off its coast.

The village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Padanaram Village Historic District. The historic district is roughly bounded by Elm, Water, Middle, High, Pleasant, Prospect, Hill, School, Fremont, and Bridge Streets. The district features Colonial Revival, Late Victorian, and Federal architecture and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

South Dartmouth is also part of the South Coast, a region of southeastern Massachusetts bordering Buzzards Bay. A monthly magazine named SOCO keeps abreast of trends, news, and local happenings. The daily newspaper is South Coast Today. According to the 2010 United States Census Bureau, South Dartmouth has a population of 11,320 residents with a median household income of $100,836.


The village of Padanaram was one of many settlements which began cropping up within the town of Old Dartmouth after its purchase from the Wampanoag Indians by members of the Plymouth Colony in 1652. During King Philip's War the settlement was burned down and all cattle killed. The only settlers who survived were those who heard a warning and fled either to Russell's Garrison or Cooke's Garrison. Remains of the settlement can still be seen at the foot of Lucy Street. In the mid-18th century it became a shipbuilding center. In September 1778, during the American Revolution, the British attacked nearby New Bedford with a small force attacking Padanaram. The 19th century saw Padanaram prosper as a minor whaling port, as well as home to a large salt works. As these industries died out, "the village" (as it is referred to by locals) became mostly a residential area with several yachting businesses, galleries, eateries, and shops.

Retail and shopping[edit]

Amidst its sandy beaches and water activities, Padanaram Village is home to a diverse selection of locally owned and operated spas, boutiques, restaurants, and service based small businesses. Centered around the intersection of Elm and Bridge Streets, the village lends itself to easy walking and biking for the many upscale shops and eateries. Notable examples include: Flora-Home, Flora-Style, Flora Etc., 6 1/2 Bridge Street Gallery, Be Jeweled, Dhalia Living, Folia, Strawberry Moon, Details & Design, and Pan Handler's cookware and cutlery . The Village also offers two spas { Karyne & Co. and Salt the Spa on Elm }, fitness and wellness businesses { Sault Fitness, Padanaram Stand Up Paddleboard, Divine Yoga, Deb Stevens Acupuncture}, hair salons {The Knot, Village Hair Designers} and services ranging from educational counseling { College Edge} to law offices, real estate to mortgage companys. Three churches in Padanaram offer services all year: St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, and The Congregational Church of South Dartmouth.

The villages restaurants are locally inspired with indoor / outdoor seating including The Sail Loft with live music and direct boat docking, The Black Bass Grille with gorgeous water views, The Little Moss serves local farm-to-table artisanal daily menu creations and cocktails. Quick bites and ice cream can be enjoyed at Dockside Ice Cream, operated by Acushnet Creamery. Cross the bridge to Apponogansett Park and enjoy ice cream and lobster rolls at The Bucket next to the beach playground where there are evening concerts in the park.

In July the lively sidewalk stroll takes place with children's events, street tents set up with handmade artists wares, retail shops hold mid summer sales, and music is played. Every December the Padanaram Holiday Festival has costumed elves decorating and lighting the main streets of the village and boats in the harbor, while shops and eateries participate in evening happenings for a wonderfully warm, family event. Apponagansett Farm on Elm Street is a community sponsored agriculture (CSA) operating most of the year.

New Bedford Yacht Club[edit]

The New Bedford Yacht Club in Padanaram, was founded in New Bedford. NBYC bi-annually hosts the Buzzards Bay Regatta. Its Sailing School for children and adults is open to members and non-members alike. Every Wednesday from June through September is the club's Sunset Racing Series. In 2002, Llewellyn Howland III wrote 'The New Bedford Yacht Club : a history' [2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Llewellyn Howland III 'The New Bedford Yacht Club : a history' (South Dartmouth, Mass.: The Club, 2002)