Fairhaven's most celebrated resident had an even more famous friend who seemed to enjoy visiting the town in the late 19th century.

Henry Huttleston Rogers was born in Fairhaven on January 29, 1840. The website for the town's Millicent Library says Rogers was among the first graduates of Fairhaven High School.

Rogers, raised in the family's home at 39 Middle Street, left Fairhaven when he was 20 to "seek his fortune in the oil fields of Pennsylvania."

The library says Rogers "became one of the most powerful tycoons of his day" with John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust.

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The Rogers family home on Middle Street still stands, but not so the 85-room mansion H.H. Rogers enjoyed near Fort Phoenix. After Rogers died on May 19, 1909, his children were not interested in maintaining the mansion and offered to sell it to the town for $1.

With little interest in preserving the estate, the mansion was demolished in 1915.

While alive, Rogers shared his success with the people of Fairhaven, bestowing upon the town Fairhaven High School, which he called "The Castle on the Hill," Town Hall, Millicent Library, the Rogers School, the Unitarian Memorial Church, Masonic Hall and Cushman Park.

Mark Twain Spoke At Dedication Of Fairhaven's Unitarian Church
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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In 1893, Rogers was in New York City, where he met Samuel Langhorne Clemens – better known by his pen name, Mark Twain – the American writer, humorist and essayist.

Rogers and Twain became good friends after visiting each other's homes.

On the verge of financial calamity, Rogers assisted Twain in getting his financial house in order.

Courtesy Millicent Library
Courtesy Millicent Library
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Twain became a regular visitor to Fairhaven, sailing on Rogers' yacht Kanawa. Twain's book Following the Equator is dedicated to Rogers' son Harry, who according to SouthCoast Today was not as kind as his father.

Mark Twain's Correspondence with Henry Huttleston Rogers: 1893-1909 was published by the University of California Press in 1969.

The Millicent Library says Twain delivered the dedication speech at the opening of Fairhaven Town Hall on February 22, 1894, and also gave a "humorous address" during the laying of the cornerstone of the Unitarian Memorial Church.

See Inside the Boyhood Home of Fairhaven's Legendary Henry Huttleston Rogers

This small, unassuming Fairhaven house was the boyhood home of Fairhaven's greatest benefactor, Henry Huttleston Rogers, and was even the home that had the first telephone in Fairhaven history. The house recently sold for $335,000.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

'After' Pictures of Henry Huttleston Rogers Potting Shed Restored on HGTV

Here are the after pictures of Henry Huttleston Rogers' potting shed, restored on HGTV's Houses With History in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Michael Rock

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