The Mariner’s Home was formerly the mansion of William Rotch, Jr. It was built in 1787 and stood on the southwest corner of Water and William Streets.
The Ladies Branch of the New Bedford Port Society was founded in 1833 and Mrs. Sarah Rotch Arnold, wife of James Arnold, was its first president. In 1851 she presented the home of her late father William Rotch Jr., to the Port Society for a Mariner’s Home. Mrs. Arnold gave the mansion on condition that the Ladies Branch would raise $3,00 to furnish it and this was done. The building was moved to the west on Johnny Cake Hill, just north of the Bethel where it still stands.
The home was opened in May 1851 and has continually rendered aid to the spiritual and moral needs of seamen and their families. Rooms and meals have been provided to thousands of seafaring men over the years.
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