Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum
396 County Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Built by shipwrights in 1834 for whaling merchant William Rotch Jr., the Rotch-Jones-Duff (RJD) House and Garden Museum epitomizes the “brave houses and flowery gardens” described by Herman Melville in Moby-Dick. Greek Revival in style, it was designed by architect Richard Upjohn, a founder and first president of the American Institute or Architects. 396 County Street was home to three prominent and influential New Bedford families; William Rotch Jr., 1834 to 1850; Edward Coffin Jones, 1851 – 1935; and Mark M. Duff, 1935 – 1981. The estate chronicles important chapters in American history when New Bedford had a major influence on the international arenas of commerce, trade, and culture via whaling, and later through textiles. The property encompasses a full city block of gardens and is the only whaling mansion open to the public in New England that retains its original configuration of grounds and outbuildings. Today this National Historic Landmark offers a variety of cultural programs, changing exhibits, and curriculum-based educational programming serving about 7000 people annually.