Woodhouse Family, Bay St. New Bedford, MA

Who lived at 42 Bay St?


1884 – 1895 William & Annie WOODHOUSE (10 years)
1895 – 1910 Edgar Wright & Alida D. WRIGHT (15 years)
1910 – 1924 Orton S. Simpson & Sarah A. SIMPSON, and Sarah A. Simpson & Percy B. Simpson  (14 years)
1924 – 1963 Anna J. Hartigan & Thomas H. Hartigan (39 years)
1963 – 2019 The Rodriques Family – (56 years)
2019 –  Happy New Homeowners  🙂


History & Inhabitants

1885 May of Bay Street

1875 Map

On this 1875 Map, we see that there’s not much going on here. Bay Street wasn’t even on the map yet. George Howland owned the land at 42 Bay St up to 1884 when the house was built. There’s a lot of reference to both #4 Bay St and #14 Bay St with one of the past inhabitants, so our guess is this may have possibly been part of a larger estate.

PS. Did you know #14 Bay St. belonged to Captain Anthony of the Catalpa expedition? That may just be another home story for another day.

Who were they?

Meet the Milkman/Farmer

William Woodhouse & Annie Woodhouse

William Woodhouse, son of Abraham Woodhouse and Mary Jane Woodhouse, was born in Ireland on March, 1855. 

He arrived some time around 1873 and married Anna (Annie) Winter in 1882. He purchased 42 Bay St from George Howland and lived in the farmhouse from 1885-1895 when they moved to Rockland St. in Dartmouth according to the U.S. Federal Census.

Their children were:

  • Annie Woodhouse b. 1886
  • John H. Woodhouse b. 1887
  • William Winter Woodhouse b. 1888 d. 1958

William Woodhouse, Sr was a Milkman & Farmer. 


Mason Membership Card for William Woodhouse
Source: Mason Membership Card, Ancestry .com

(The woodhouse family and their descendents owned/operated The “Woodhouse Shop” in Padanaram/Dartmouth for decades.)

horsehoes found at 42 bay


We found many old horseshoes in the dirt basement under the barn.

I wonder if they belonged to Woodhouses’ horses! 

Orton S. Simpson & Sarah F. Simpson

Orton S. Simpson was born in Sandwich, MA around 1854. He was a band leader/instructor with the Westport Brass Band.  He married Sarah A. Feavyour around 1879. 

He worked as a glass inspector at the Glass Works and their son Percy Bertram Simpson was a silversmith.

snapshot of 42 Bay St inhabitant listing in the City of New Bedford Directories

 Their Children were:


  • Percy B. Simpson
  • Miriam F. Simpson

Edgar Wright & Alida D. (Crocker) Wright

Edgar worked at the Howland Mills. (Ironic right? Since George Howland previously owned this land). He Married Alida D. (Crocker).

Edgar Wright resigned from a position as a boss carder for Aldrich Mfg and came to New Bedford to partner up with Harrison T. Borden, and they dealt in coal, wood & real estate. Mr. Borden invested in many south end parcels.

His son Harry Edgar Wright was an Optician. He is shown below. 

Jenkins and wright
Credit Source: 1930 – Frank M. Jenkins and Harry wright https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:mk61tg01v

I’m super curious if that vehicle was ever parked in the garage! This photo was taken after they had already moved out, but we found several very old license plates buried in the dirt basement under the barn.

old Massachusetts license plates from the early 1900's at 42 Bay St.

Mrs. Wright was a Sunday School Teacher along with the previous owner, Mrs. O.S Simpson!

Anna J. Hartigan & Thomas H. Hartigan

Thomas was born in 1886 in Taunton. He was a painter for the City of New Bedford. (Rudish & Hartigan Construction). His wife Anna was from Ireland.

Our story ends here, as we want to respect the privacy of past inhabitants/owners that are still living.

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