New Bedford’s Historic Dawson Building Once Hosted the Eagles
New Bedford's historic Dawson Building has stood at 1851 Purchase Street, at the corner of Linden Street, for 127 years in what is known as the Acushnet Heights National Historic Register District.
According to the City of New Bedford website, the Acushnet Heights National Historic Register District is "comprised of approximately 560 properties and 100 acres of land."
The site says the district is bounded by "Weld Street on the north, Summer Street on the west, Purchase Street on the east, and is anchored by Clasky Common Park on the south."
Acushnet Heights was "first developed with large estates in the 1830s and 1840s." By the 1860s, Acushnet Heights was transformed "into an immigrant working-class neighborhood of multi-family residences."
The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
The Dawson Building, described as a four-story, brick Classical Revival style structure, was built in 1896 for Benjamin Dawson, a local grocer and liquor distributor. Dawson owned other retail properties further down at Purchase and Merrimack Streets.
He also founded Dawson & Son on Purchase Street, later known as Dawson's Brewery, Inc., and relocated to Brook Street. Dawson brewed Beer and marketed it throughout the region.
The Dawson Building is one of several area buildings, including the current New Bedford City Hall and the Robert C. Ingraham School, designed by architect Samuel C. Hunt.
The Dawson Building has been converted into a 32-unit affordable housing building.
I mentioned the Dawson Building once hosted the Eagles, and it did – the Fraternal Order of Eagles. In 1923, the F.O.E. Aerie #647 purchased the Dawson Building, making it their New Bedford headquarters for some six decades before dissolving.
The Lakeville Eagles Aerie #3994 opened shortly after at 217 County Road in Lakeville.
Who did you think I was referring to?