The story of Standard Oil Company millionaire Henry H. Rogers and the magnificent architectural gifts he gave to his hometown are the subjects of Henry H. Rogers Walking Tours presented on Tuesday and Thursday mornings by the Fairhaven Office of Tourism, beginning June 5. The tours start at 10:00 a.m. outside the Fairhaven Town Hall, 40 Center Street, weather permitting. They will be held twice a week through the end of September.
Henry H. Rogers was born in Fairhaven in 1840 and graduated from the town’s original high school. In 1861 he went to Pennsylvania where he and a partner started a small petroleum refinery. Eventually Rogers became a part of John D. Rockefeller’s vast Standard Oil Company, assuming a top leadership role. By the time he reached his early forties, Rogers was an extremely wealthy man.
Beginning in 1885, Rogers began giving Fairhaven gifts of enormous importance—schools, a library, a town hall, a public water system, and a lovely park. He also had the magnificent Unitarian Memorial Church built in memory of his mother and the George H. Taber Lodge building built to honor a favorite uncle.
The walking tour explores the center of town where most of Rogers’ gifts stand, tracing a route that includes his boyhood home and seven other places associated with him. Also viewed are the interiors of two buildings, the Town Hall and Millicent Library. Along the way you’ll hear about Rogers’ life, family and career.
The tour lasts about 90 minutes and is presented free of charge by the Fairhaven Office of Tourism. For more information, call 508-979-4085 or email FairhavenTours@fairhaven-ma.gov.
If you cannot take the walking tour, a map and guide to the Rogers buildings is published in the Fairhaven Visitors Guide, available for free at the town’s Visitors Center, 141 Main Street. The Visitors Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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