Fairhaven, Massachusetts: Serenity at the Mouth of the Acushnet River
Fairhaven, Massachusetts enjoys a scenic location on Buzzards Bay in Bristol County. The town shares a harbor with the larger city of New Bedford, which is located just across a bridge, and is also bordered by Mattapoisett to the east and Acushnet to the north. The harbor is where the Acushnet River flows into Buzzards Bay and also where ferries to places like Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket depart.
The town is made up of eight distinct neighborhoods: North Fairhaven, East Fairhaven, Fairhaven Center, Oxford, Nasketucket, Poverty Point, Winsegansett Heights, and Sconticut Neck. Much of the town's population is in Fairhaven Center, East Fairhaven, and Sconticut Neck, as the northern and eastern parts of the township are mostly forests and farmland. As a result, most of the homes for sale in Fairhaven, MA will be found in these areas.
There is a small population on West Island, as well, which sits at the far south of town and is mostly undeveloped, but does feature the quiet and secluded West Island Town Beach.
Fairhaven has a population of about 16,000 people and is only 14.1 square miles in size, 12.4 miles of which is land. The town is only 32.6 miles from downtown Providence, making commuting a real possibility for those who want to work in the city and live in a quieter center. The town is about 60 miles from downtown Boston, making it a slightly more difficult, but still possible, commute.
Some Fairhaven History
Much of Fairhaven's history is tied to the other communities in the region, as the land was first purchased by settlers in 1659 and became part of Dartmouth, another town in the area. In 1787, the eastern part of Dartmouth, which includes what is now New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Acushnet, split from the town and created a new settlement. In 1812, Fairhaven and Acushnet broke from New Bedford, becoming its own town, before Acushnet separated in 1860.
At one time, Fairhaven was home to a strategic military base because of its location on the Acushnet River. Fort Phoenix, part of which is still standing today, was responsible for protecting the harbor against enemy attacks during colonial times, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812.
The whaling industry was also significant in Fairhaven's early years, as it drove the economy. In fact, by 1838, Fairhaven was the country's second-largest whaling port and, as a result, was a very well-off area.
Living in Fairhaven
The crime rate in Fairhaven is below the state average, as your chances of becoming the victim of a violent crime are one in 288. With that being said, the small population inflates those numbers, as the town averages only 56 violent crimes per year.
If you plan to commute to a larger city while living in Fairhaven, MA, the I-195 runs right through town and into New Bedford, before heading northwest to Providence.
Fairhaven has its own school district with four schools: East Fairhaven Elementary, Leroy L. Wood Elementary, Elizabeth Hastings Middle School, and Fairhaven High School, which was named the most beautiful high school in Massachusetts in 2017. The town also has Saint Joseph's School, a private Catholic school that runs from kindergarten to grade eight.
The district averages 15 students per teacher and has a per student expenditure rate of over $16,000 per student, far above the national average.
If you're just visiting Fairhaven before deciding on whether or not this is where you want to make your home, be sure to visit:
These sites will give you a better idea of what it’s like to live in Fairhaven. Given that it’s so close, you can also check out attractions in neighboring New Bedford.
Fairhaven Real Estate
There's a lot to like when buying a home in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, as it offers a small-town way of life, while being just across the bridge from the city of New Bedford and under an hour from Providence.
The town was once where Franklin D. Roosevelt spent his summers, so whether you're looking for a full-time residence or somewhere to spend your free time in the summer, Fairhaven has something for you.
Visit or call Kinlin Grover’s Dartmouth office for more information on living in Fairhaven and to see the current available real estate listings.
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