Since 1947, the New Bedford Seamen's Bethel has held memorial services for those lost at sea. The ceremony begins when an antique pump organ is transported by wheelbarrow at the head of a procession from Seamen's Bethel down to the harbor. Members of the Port Society, its Ladies Branch, family members, the public and a bagpiper complete the somber parade. At Fishermen's Wharf, each name of the lost is read, followed by the sounding of a bell.
Although nothing can recreate the emotions of that moment, this site seeks to put faces to the names of those lost and keep their memories alive.
The people and organizations who provided information, photographs and electronic expertise gave birth to this website. The site will continue to grow as we learn more about the lost fishermen of the Port of New Bedford.
This site can grow with the help of people in the community. Please contact us and share your information, photographs and recollections of fishermen who died at sea or vessels that were lost at sea. Your contributions can provide us material about people or vessels for which we have no record. You can also help correct and clarify existing information.
The Lost Fishermen website was created through the generosity of The Ernestine Kresser Locke Memorial Fund. From 1981 until her passing in 2003, Ms. Locke volunteered in the Millicent Library archives in her adopted town. Her bequest to the archives, together with additional contributions from friends and family members, make up the memorial fund that bears her name. We have no doubt that Ms. Locke would consider the Lost Fishermen website to be a highly worthy endeavor.
We would like to express our gratitude to the many individuals and organizations that have helped us to retrieve and preserve the memories of our lost fishermen.
Families of the lost fishermen and those men still fishing, for their time, information, recollections and photographs;
Waterfront businesses, organizations and individuals as well as the members of the general public for their interest and enthusiasm;
The New Bedford Port Society, which maintains The Seaman's Bethel, and The New Bedford Standard-Times, for detailed information regarding individual fishermen and vessels;
Spinner Publications, Euro Ship Store, and artist Steve Kennedy, for their photos of the vessels;
Jim Mahaney, for use of his New Bedford Harbor photograph;
Jim B. Johansen and Penobscot Marine Museum for providing much of the material on the vessel specifications;
Marge Orman, at Solveig's who provided information on the waterfront that we couldn't have gotten anywhere else.
Finally a very special thanks to the following Millicent Library archives volunteers; Suzanne Kowal, David Braga and Beth Luey.