Sunset Over the Westport River in 1862


Ideally sheltered from windswept ocean storms by the wide curve of Horseneck Beach, the inland port of Westport Point was to come into its own when the only whaling ship to be built and registered there, the half brig Kate Cory, was completed in 1856.

Small by comparison to the larger New Bedford barks and carrying only three whale boats compared to the usual five, the Kate Cory was named after the fourth child of the family that owned her. Their store was at the foot of Main Street with a wide colonnaded porch enjoying a view of the entire port. The structure still stands today, as does the large stone post to which their vessel was moored. In this view the whaling brig dries her sails after arriving in port in June 1862, a year or so before she was captured and burned off the coast of Africa by the Confederate raider “Alabama”.

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