Another stone building, that had once housed the Rodman Candleworks, was converted into a bakery during the 1850s. The bakery made ships' bread and crackers and supplied the Union army during the Civil War. The bulding later housed an insurance office, picture framing business, and antique shop. A fire damaged the interior of the building in the 1960s and a decade later, urban developers proposed converting the structure into a textile museum. Today this former candle factory in the heart of historic New Bedford contains private offices and an upscale restaurant.
Since the International Whaling Commission voted to ban commercial whaling in 1986, whales have begun to recover from over-hunting. Whales are now most likely to be pursued by boatloads of tourists who try to catch a glimpse of these magnificent animals off the New England shore. In coastal cities and towns, history museums teach new generations of school children about our American whaling heritage.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration