Westport History 101

Westport History 101

(Westport, Massachusetts)

Written and Presented by Tony Connors

Discover the story of your town from the Ice Age to the present day!

Most people would agree that it’s important to know something about American history. But is a small town like Westport, Massachusetts important enough to study? Yes! All towns have histories that help us understand where we came from, and why the town developed the way it did. Westport may not be Boston, or Concord, or even New Bedford, but it has a rich history of whaling and fishing, agriculture, manufacturing, immigration, and tourism, as well as a few famous people. In some ways Westport mirrors the region, so studying our town helps us understand a much broader history. And yet there are also special events and people that are unique to our own town and worth knowing.

This course was presented as three 90-minute lectures. You can watch each session in its entirety or you can view shorter “chapters” which vary in length from 6 minutes to 30 minutes in length.

Explore articles about the history of Westport, Massachusetts here!

Part 1 The Ice Age to Revolutionary War (90 minutes)



Part 2 Incorporation of Westport as a Town in 1787 to the Eve of the Civil War (90 minutes)




Part 3 The Civil War to Present Day (90 minutes)




Westport History 101 in shorter chapters


What was the effect of glaciers on Westport’s development?




Learn more about the Wampanoags. Who were the first European settlers?




Early Westport development




What happened in Westport during the Revolutionary War?  Who was Barney Hicks?



Why did Westport separate from Dartmouth in 1787?



Why is Paul Cuffe such an important local/national/international figure?



Who was Charlotte White?



Whaling in Westport: Who,why, where, how? What happened to the locally-built whaling ship Kate Cory during the Civil War?




Who was Ruby Devol Finch?




How did Westport react to the Civil War, who fought for Westport?




Where was Westport’s big cotton factory? Why have so many Portuguese and French Canadians settled here?




What happened in early 20thcentury Westport: The First World War, E. P. Charlton, Lincoln Park, agriculture and the Macomber Turnip, changes at East Beach and construction of Westport Point bridge.




What happened at Cadman’s Neck?




What happened at the Head of Westport? Pandemic, 1920’s, Prohibition, and rum running.




Why did Acoaxet attempt to secede from Westport?




The Great Depression and the Second World War, post-war Westport, Route 6, hurricanes, and the Point Bridge.