Date Visited: June 11, 2016
Location: 1000 Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA
Parking: There are about 70-100 spots or so in the park itself but plenty of off street parking as well.
Hours: Dawn until dusk
Dog Friendly: It sure is!
Highlights: forts, lighthouse, jetty, beach, war memorials, walking trails, playground with slides and swings for children (or adults if you’re so inclined), military museum, war reenactments, pretty views
The highlight of the park for most visitors has to be the jetty. Fishing off the jetty, or anywhere else at the park is allowed. But, they have a strict “catch and release” policy because most of the fish are contaminated with PCB (poly-chlorinated bipenyls). So, they would not be safe to eat. PCB’s are known cancer causing toxins. The New Bedford Harbor is lined with these cancer-causing toxins that were released into the harbor between 1938 and 1973 by factories such as the electrical component manufacturer Aerovox. The harbor is in the process of being cleaned. But, it could take many more years before the job is complete.
Seashells and seaweed were scattered along the bridge, evidence of some recent stormy seas.
There are so many beautiful views and interesting things at Fort Taber Park. The lighthouse in the photos is the
Since New Bedford has been known for its whaling and seafaring history, the park (and all of New Bedford) is also known for its lighthouses. In the background of the fort in the photo below you can see Clarks Point Lighthouse, first originally built in 1797 (it was replaced with a stone tower in 1804).
The lighthouse below is the Butler Flats Lighthouse, originally built in 1898.
There are several war memorials dedicated to the men and women of Fall River who have served their country, with a specific emphasis on those who were killed in action.
The memorial below is a Vietnam War Memorial that really stood out to me. If you look closely at the board in the final photo, you can see photos of the service people from New Bedford who were killed in the war. Everything about this memorial has meaning. The 43 stars on the memorial represent all of the 43 people from New Bedford who died in Vietnam. The outline of Vietnam is in orange as a reference to Agent Orange who died from Agent Orange. Even the service ribbons on the memorial have meaning. The blue ribbon represents the National Defense Ribbon which is representative of everyone who served in Vietnam. The other two ribbons represent in country veterans. The two plants at the memorial signify life.
There are also several memorials to all of the 20th century wars America has been in, although I did not notice any memorials for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I am assuming this may be because those actions are still not officially over even if we have pulled out most of our military presence in those places.
A tribute does stand for Army Staff Sargent Joseph Camara of New Bedford, MA, who was killed in action on September 1, 2003 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom when the humvee he was traveling in hit a land mine. He was serving with the 115th Military Police Company as a member of the Rhode Island National Guard in the Iraq War. He was 40 years old when he died. He was also a member of the New Bedford Police Department. His memorial is located at the bottom of the gallery below.
There is also a replica of a Sherman tank stands as a tribute to the LST amphibious force T-4 who lost their lives in training for the invasion on D-Day. During the training exercises, sadly, many men lost their lives training for the invasion.
While I was visiting it was 17th century drill day. Reenactors from the Dartmouth militia, in full 17th century garb, showed how weapons were used, described the different types of warfare of the day and answered any questions the public had.
The staff also allowed visitors inside Fort Taber. The guide explained they stopped using this Civil War fort once the ballistics that were used became too effective against the barricades of the fort.
Grass and rust had overtaken what was once a formidable fortification.
One of the best parts of my visit – on the way to my car, I saw this man and woman playing their instruments.
One of the great things I noticed about the New Bedford area as I walked around taking photos and from the crowd at Fort Taber is the diversity of the cultures and people of the area. The photographs above illustrate this. The music sounded like it had an up tempo flamenco influence. It sounded beautiful. And I love their attire.
Fort Taber/Fort Rodman is a dog friendly park. The park is a great place for dogs. There are miles of trails for your dog to wander.
Sadie is a miniature poodle. She will be 5 in August! Early happy birthday wishes, Sadie!
I also met Yoda, a 10 year old Yorkie.
Below is a video of the inside of one of the forts at Fort Taber. It’s kind of spooky!
This video is a video of the military reenactors firing their weapons.
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