Westport Historical Timeline
as Published in “A look at Westport Through Four Centuries” and “Westport Enters its Fifth Century”
|17th Century||18th century||19th century||20th Century||21st Century|
(Note: As the rest of this site evolves this timeline will serve as another menu device. That is, items in the timeline will link directly to text and images in other sections of the site. )
Batholomew Gosnold settles at Cuttyhunk, visits mainland including Westport.
Plymouth settlers buy Acoaxet from Wampanoag Indians.
Richard Sisson settles at the Head – the first family in Westport.
King Philip’s War; settlers driven out.
Sisson home burned by Indians; many houses leveled.
Wm. Southworth and Wm. Soale buy “meadow land” from Mamanuah.
Wm. Southworth and John Rogers buy Westport Harbor area (Stephen Neck) from Indians. First roads – Hix’s Bridge, lower Drift, Adamsville, Horseneck.
Henry Howland makes stocks and whipping post.
Mills built by Waite, Tripp, and Lawton.
First survey of the town.
First Meeting house in Central Village on land bought from George Cadman for three pounds.
Two selectmen imprisoned for one and a half years because town refuses to pay the tax for support of Orthodox minister. Money is raised to send two representatives to England to plead case before George I.
Dartmouth receives right to appoint its own minister (King of England overrules Province of Massachusetts Bay).
Quaker house of worship is erected in north part of town.
Slave population is 21.
Town meeting resolves that patriotic women will discontinue use of tea.
Two companies of troops formed and go to Boston. “Union” is sloop at Point; Thomas Case, master.
Old Dartmouth votes 1,057 pounds and 16 shillings, silver money, for purchase of beef for Continental Army.
Capt. Paul Cuffe petitions legislature that all persons of color have equal privileges with other citizens including voting.
Paul and brother John Cuffe arrested for non-payment of taxes; in jail a few hours; released on a writ of habeas corpus.
Four young men, members of Westport Friends Meeting, refuse to be drafted as soldiers or pay taxes instead; they are fined 41 pounds.
The militia of old Dartmouth is divided into 5 companies, on of which embraces the “train band” and “alarm list” of Westport.
Westport Militia Officers are Capt. Robert Earl, Lt. Sylvester Brownell, Ensign John Hix.
Voted about $200 to each soldier enlisting for three years.
Massachusetts passes act which gives Negroes full legal rights and privileges.
Town of Westport formed from part of Dartmouth.
First Town Meeting.
Decide to build a Town House.
Prairie Schooners bound for Ohio pass through Northern part of town.
William Almy represents Westport at Constitutional Convention; he supports it.
Davis house at Acoaxet shot with cannon by British sea captain, angry because he could not find way into harbor to burn the Point.
Voted that William Hicks, town treasurer, take the old Continental money and dispose of it to the best advantage of the town.
William Rotch, Jr. purchases 20 acres at the Head, including grist mill, saw-mill, forge, utensils, toll house, store-house, blacksmith shop and dwelling for $3,000.
Town meeting votes that no neat cattle or horses shall be permitted to run at large on highways.
First baptism by Elder Daniel Hix in Westport.
Vote to petition the President of the United States to suspend “the Embargo” against British goods either wholly or partially.
Paul Cuffe received a certificate from the Friends Meeting to visit Africa.
Cuffe appeals to President Madison over seizure of one of his ships; he is received at the White House. Land is purchased for the Bell School.
Cotton mill built at Westport Factory.
Methodists hold services in homes at the Point.
First Christian Church forms at Head, an outgrowth of the work of Elder Daniel Hix.
Petition that Latin and Greek be taught in the Purchase High School not accepted.
The cotton mill with 3,072 spindles consumes 300,000 pounds of cotton.
Second Christian Church at South Westport.
Third Christian Church at Central Village.
Bell School erected.
Fire destroys cluster of mills near Head.
Excitement over Millerites’ belief that the world will end April, 1843.
Fourth Christian Church at Brownell’s Corners.
$2,000 voted for support of schools ($428.66 from State).
William B. Trafford, Augustus Chase, Elijah A. Lewis purchase mill at Westport Factory, known as Westport Cotton Manufacturing Co.
Pacific Union Church at Head.
Eighteen whaling vessels working out of the Point.
First Christian Church of North Westport.
Mr. Gould and Mr. Ely will continue to deliver letters leaving it up to each individual whether he wishes to pay 1 cent or 2 cents per letter.
Good cranberry lots for sale at Upper Horseneck; $5 to $20 an acre.
Parts of Portsmouth, Tiverton, and Little Compton become part of Westport.
Allen Gifford sues Abraham Brownell for taking his pile of seaweed at Horseneck Beach; case to Supreme Court.
Scow arrives at the point – 60 ft. long, 20 ft. wide, 2 _ ft. deep, propelled by stern wheel. Designed for raking eel-grass.
Vote to raise Enlistment Bounty from $175 to $250, in effort to secure Civil War volunteers.
Forty boats went out and caught between 7,000 and 8,000 lbs. Of tautog.
In the Civil War – 267 soldiers and sailors from Westport.
“Alexandria Hump”, popular dance in which very high heel is worn on one foot, flat on other.
Stage coaches run form New Bedford to Little Compton.
A party of a dozen, including Harriet Beecher Stowe and two daughters make an excursion to Westport and Gayhead.
Free Chapel Association is formed in Acoaxet.
Westport Sabbath School Association formed.1875
First passenger train between Fall River and New Bedford.
First camp meeting at Cadman’s Neck.
High School held at Head in winter, at Point in summer.
New Westport Point Methodist Episcopal Church is dedicated.
Loyal Temperance Legion organized at Brownell’s Corner Church.
Stables at Third Christian Church enlarged.
1500 teams and 6,000 people at “Big Sunday” at Cadman’s Neck.
Dartmouth and Westport Street Railway opened for passenger service.
Bridge built from Point to Horseneck.
A portion of Fall River on North and South Watuppa Ponds become part of Westport.
Voted $25 reward for catching every Hen Thief.
Terrible flue epidemic.
Seventy-five Westporters in Spanish-American War.
Annual meeting of North Westport Church postponed due to severe storm.
Massachusetts – Rhode Island line relocated.
Calvary Bible Church built on Union Ave.1908
Cleaning up Horseneck Beach is health job for the year. Rid beach of pigs, decaying swill and manure heaps.
So many cases of smallpox town must build a temporary isolation hospital.
In Central Village, St. John the Baptist Church is built after meeting in homes, Westport Factory Chapel, Grange Hall and Town Hall.
First police added to corps of Constables, Dept. of Protection of Persons and Property.
Westport supports World War with 185 men.
St. George Church is built.
Police Dept. organized with first chief.
First causeway to Gooseberry Neck built.
Westport man held in $800 bail on liquor charge.
Volunteer Fire Dept. organized; First House built in Central Village.
Franklin D. Roosevelt spends much time on Westport Horseneck Beach visiting advisor Louis Howe, for therapy after polio attack.
Hurricane – rated among the costliest disasters in life and property in U.S. History. Worst hit area Horseneck Beach and Westport Harbor.
Hundreds of summer homes destroyed and 22 lives lost.
Gooseberry Military Installation put in under emergency measures following attack on Pearl Harbor. Land taken by eminent domain; causeway enlarged.
Westport sends 598 men and women to World War II.
Hurricane; Waite-Potter house, oldest in S.E. Mass. Damaged.
Town meeting votes to pass over an article on zoning.
Well Church Clinic organized by interested citizens and Board of Health.
Town By-Law – that Board of Health must issue a building permit to that one citizen’s sewage may not pollute the drinking water of another.
Our Lady of Grace Church founded.
Salk Vaccine Clinic held.
State takes over Horseneck Beach.
Permanent closing of town infirmary.
Route 88 started.
New Bridge at Point built, part of Route 88. Old bridge demolished.
Route 195 is built.
Westport united Congregational Church established by merge of North Westport and Brownell’s Corner Churches.
Powder House dedicated at the Head; it was built after War of 1812 and used up to and during the Civil War.
Cornerstone of the new Calvary Bible Church laid.
New zoning regulations go into effect.
Korea and Vietnam summon 510 Westporters.
Westport celebrates the Bicentennial of the United States.