Mattapoisett is a pleasant New England coastal town with a large harbor on Buzzards Bay. Originally a part of Rochester, the area had most likely been visited by European traders and sailors. Mattapoisett was settled by Europeans in 1750 and officially incorporated as a town separate from Rochester in 1857. There is also evidence of prior Wampanoag Indian settlements throughout the town. In fact, the word Mattapoisett is Wampanoag for “a place of resting.”
Mattapoisett was once a major shipbuilding and provisioning port. It was where the whaleship Acushnet was construction, upon which Herman Melville sailed out of New Bedford and was inspired to write Moby Dick. Prior to shipbuilding, Mattapoisett’s primary industries were farming and logging. It is now a popular summer destination and suburban community. Most residents commute to New Bedford, Boston or Providence for work.
Along the waterfront village area, Mattapoisett is bustling with charming historic homes on narrow streets great for walking. Inland it is more rural, with newer homes on larger lots as it boarders Rochester. U.S. Interstate 195 is the informal dividing line between village and rural areas.
Mattapoisett boasts a strong school system, and an active public library which often offers activities for children. For example, the annual Quahog Contest challenges children to read and receive a bead to be strung on a bookmark for each accomplishment. Along with the reading, sleepovers and craft days mark the event.
Along Route 6, which traverses the town, galleries, boutiques, ice cream shops, and restaurants dot the landscape. One particular favorite, the Oxford Creamery, has drawn seasonal crowds for decades.
Mattapoisett has a state-managed wildlife area, Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, commonly known as Nunes Farm, along the waterfront near the Fairhaven line. Hikes in the reservation are frequently offered, teaching participants about the nature to be found there. The following video shows vernal pools in spring when frogs are laying their eggs.
There are four beaches and two parks along the waterfront in Mattapoisett, as well as Ned Point Light, which was built in 1837 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The town is home to the Fin, Fur and Feather Club, a hunt club and shooting range located along the Mattapoisett River.
For a peek at one of Mattapoisett’s beaches with the harbor in the background, watch the Bold Moves video below.