Wamsutta Club is located in the heart
of New Bedford, a city rich in tradition
In 1866, Charles Warren Clifford
organized an athletic club to play a new version of baseball.
That was the beginning of the Wamsutta Club. The Club soon
evolved into a social club. As the Club grew, it made several
moves to acquire more space. Former locations include the
old Ricketson blockof Purchase Street, the old Masonic Building
at Pleasant and Union Streets, and after being formally chartered
in 1889, the former PerryHouse at Union and County Streets.
The present location, long one of New Bedford’s landmarks,
had been built in 1821 by James Arnold. After the death of
his widow in 1919, the Wamsutta Club purchased the Arnold
Mansion. Two large wings were added on the north and south,
and squash courts were added on the west side, in a basement
During the period 1890-1925, the Club
was a major rendezvous for area businessmen, when the textile
industry was at its height in the city. There is no way to
estimate the number of bales of cotton that were bought and
sold during meetings among businessmen at the Club.
When the Great Depression struck and
the textile industry declined, the Club faced a problem of
declining membership. Dues were reduced, the membership was
re-established on a broader base, and the Club’s programs
were expanded to meet the needs of a changing community.
Today, the Wamsutta Club continues its
tradition of fine food and personalized service for its members
and their guests.