History of 86 Topham St. New Bedford, MA

Stories & History for 86 Topham St New Bedford

Text - The Year was 1927

Early in the year, two Junior High schools were built. North End and South End Jr. High Schools. (Now known as Normandin Jr. High and Roosevelt Jr. High)

In June, the infamous Lizzie Borden died. 
And sometime during the same year, a charming Bungalow at #86 Topham St was built.
Topham Street is located in New Bedford, MA and runs between Shawmut Avenue and Highland Street.
old plan-deed from Abiathar Rogers Estate New Bedford Registry of Deeds
Credit: New Bedford Registry of Deeds
According to our research, it appears that a good portion of land on Topham Street was once owned by Abiathar H. Rogers who was born in 1827 in Dartmouth, MA.
Mr. Rogers owned quite a bit of land in New Bedford and surrounding areas, besides the Topham St Estate, according to Old deeds.
He was even listed in an 1888 list of taxpayers labeled “Rich New Englanders”. 
Fun Fact: His taxes for that year were actually higher than Andrew Borden (Lizzie Borden’s Father).
Abiathar was a Granite producer. He owned the Granite Quarry (which was once part of the Terry Estate) on Hathaway Rd until the late 1800’s.  (It is now known as Sullivan’s Ledge). 
According to a 1934 newspaper article from the Standard Times, some of the granite from this quarry was used to build the steam engine bed at Wamsutta Mills #1, a magazine at Fort Rodman, and possibly St. Killan’s, St. Lawrence and St. Joseph’s Church.
After about 1932 his old quarry on Hathaway Rd was used for a dump site, and is now a Solar Farm. 
Mr. Rogers’ son Albert R. Rogers and his wife lived at #86 Topham and (at one time #101, and also owned multiple parcels on this street).
My theory is that a lot of it may have been farmland, much of it was owned by Abiathar, and his 2 sons: Albert & Edward.
According to City Directories, they were dairy farmers and their company was named ROGERS BROS DAIRY.
This might help explain the (extra) vacant lot that goes along with the property as well as the large 3-car garage. 
I plan to continue the research and will update this post as I find new information. Read on for more.. Abiathar’s family history can be found furhter down below.

Topham Street

photo86 Topham St is a great home with beautiful woodwork, and it’s apparent that there is some interesting history here.
Topham Street, in general, seems to be a popular street to research. The New Bedford Guide recently
published a great article on their website about Topham St. 
I recommend reading about it here: New Bedford Streets: A Piece of Americana: Topham Street
Still Interested in Learning More About the Rogers Family?
Read on!

Below is information curated in our research surrounding the Rogers family & Topham Street.

Abiathar H. Rogers 
born  Jan 30, 1827 in Dartmouth, MA and died 07/17/1915 in NB (Topham)
Stone Cutter/Contractor & Granite quarry on Hathaway Rd near Rockdale Ave.
Once lived at 264 Pleasant St around 1894 
    Wife: Bethia Hall Robbins b. in Harwich, MA 1835 and died in 1904
(place of death, 264 Pleasant St. New Bedford, MA) 05/19/1904
Her Father was Kimball Robins b. 10/23/1804 of Harwich & Mother: Melinda Ellis d. 03/21/1886 married 1831 and (they) lived in Brewster but later moved to NB.
Abiathar & Bethia married 03/4/1852
  • Member of the Fire Department (company) that was formed 02/02/1857 until it was disbanded in 1867.
  • He was listed in an 1888 list of taxpayers who were assessed to pay a tax of $100 or more ($260)

Granite Producer (listed in Census Bulletin under Granite Producer) Quarry 3 miles northwest of NB, 1891
  • SULLIVAN’S LEDGE on Hathaway Road (previously part of the Terry Estate). granite from his quarry was used to build the steam engine bed at Wamsutta Mills #1 and also the magazine at Ford Rodman. Also possibly St Killian’s Church, St Lawrence & St Josephs
500 Hathaway Rd New Bedford, MA (which is now Sullivan’s Ledge SOLAR) 
Abiathar sold the quarry in 1882 to John Bertrand who sold to Jenney & Buffinton who sold it to John B. Sullivan in 1906 (he died in 1907) and Mark E Sullivan (died in 1933)
After 1932 it was used as a dump site. There was a fire in 1970’s and City of NB backfilled it. 1982 drill tested portions to possibly build a commuter parking lot, they unearthed electrical capacitors which may have caused PCB Contamination.
Credit Source: See From NB Standard Times: Newspaper Article 1934 regarding a Quarry Pool


Berth A. Rogers, 1862-1896
Nancy S. K. Rogers, Born 1871  died 11/25/1905 at 34 years old, Nurse
Amelia Rogers (husband George Morse who was a grocer), died 4/30/1903 at 41 years old
Alice A. Rogers (married Edward Baker from Brockton, Merchant)
Adriana 1860-1860, Henrietta 1853-1871, Hattie J. 1870-1880, 
Grace, 1878
Eva, 1855-1855
Walter K. 1865-1865
Frank A. 1856 – 1880
Katherine L. 1864-1884
Bertha A. 1862-1896
Fredrick L. 1868-1915
Edward H. 1875-1923
Albert R. Rogers, born about 1879
Father: Jeptha Rogers (Dartmouth, MA), 1784-1881
Mother: Mercy Poole (Dartmouth, MA) 1751-1834
Father: Gideon Rogers. Harwich 1748-1836
Mother: Sarah  Mosher
Father: Richard Rogers, Harwich 1728-1761
Mother: Sarah Higgins
Father: Ebenezer Rogers, Harwich, 1698-1767
Mother: Hannah Cook, 1699-1767
Father: John Rogers, Eastham, MA, 1672-1738
Mother: Priscilla  Hamblin, 
JOHN ROGERS, Eastham, MA, 1672-1738
Father: John Rogers
Mother Elizabeth Twining
JOHN ROGERS, Duxbury, Plymouth, MA – Mayflower Descendant 1642-1713
Father: Joseph Rogers 1602-1678
Mother: Hannah 1615-1678
JOSEPH ROGERS, Watford, Northamptonshire, England 1602-1678
Father: Thomas Rogers 
Mother: Alice Elsgeen Cosford
Father: William Rogers 1543-1585
Mother: Eleanor
Father: William Rogers
Mother: Joan
We hope you enjoyed our small collection of research on our 86 Topham St listing for sale!


It should be noted, that this blog post was created for entertainment purposes only. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be verified. If you have any information you’d like to share, or believe any of the above to be incorrect, we’d love to hear from you and welcome any comments or feedback you may have. 

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