Further uphill and under the shade of horse chestnut trees, stood the large, stately homes of ship owners and captains. These houses contained chandeliers, marble fireplaces, and souvenirs collected from around the world. Magnolia trees imported from Asia bloomed in the yards.
Common sailors could only dream of such whaling wealth. They rarely owned homes in New Bedford. Instead, when in port between voyages, seamen stayed in boarding houses. These homes, often run by women, provided a room, meals, and a bed for a fee. They were typically located near saloons and dancehalls where sailors could spend their hard-earned pay.
New Bedford Whaling Museum