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The Seaview Poultry Farm

seaview farm map

Photo of Seaview Poultry Farm large chicken coop, out buildings and stable courtesy of David York

The Seaview Poultry Farm as described in a 1931 New Bedford Standard article was "at the end of the public road on Sconticut Neck road just before the entrance to Wilbur's Point." The actual address was 770 Sconticut Neck road. It consisted of about 100 acres of stone walled pastures, fields and a farm house a large barn with several out-buildings. Originally part of the parcel that included portion of Wilbur's Point it is bounded by the outer New Bedford harbor on the west. It was sold in the mid 1920's by George Allen, a plumber by trade, to Charlie Travers and placed in the name of his girl friend Mildred Sedgwick. It was kept minimally operational to keep suspicion of rum running activities low.

seaview geese

Backside of big chicken coop withh geese in winter. The building on the left attatched to the coop was a poultry slaughter house. Courtesy of David York.

North of the farm was a property, 'Salt Winds', owned by the Beal's family which also still exists, though it is no longer owned by the Beal's family who are related to George Allen. Across the street from both properties are 2 farm parcels both owned by Joseph and Manuel Goulart, who were brothers and related to Charlie Travers.

seaview farm map

Seaview Poultry Farm map drawn by David York whose parents owned the farm after Mildred Travers

Charlie had outfitted one of the outbuildings, a garage, as a machine shop and boat repair shop. Besides the house, which still stands today, there was a small stable, now a garage, a poultry slaughter house, a smaller free standing chicken coop and a bunk house. The bunk house was used by the men who worked for Charlie moving liquor. They would wait there until everything was ready for a night's work. It is safe to say some drinking was done in the bunk house.

Backside of long coop and garage with machine shop, photo courtesy of David York

seaview farm map

Several dories were on the property which could be rigged up tied end to end to a farm tractor and pulled in from the water up to the barn for safe keeping. He also had an old barge which he set up as a dredge and a pile driver. The dredge could be used to make shallow water into deeper landing areas. The pile driver was used to make piers for people. If anyone ever asked to borrow the dredge Charlie never refused and usually offered to help on the job with no pay. The barge was also found to be useful as an instant dock. By simply bringing it to a secluded location the spuds could be dropped and the barge was perfect for unloading liquor on to.

dave mom & sister

Photo of David York, his siter and his Mom looking from in front of stable. Building on right was the bunkhouse.

One of the spots this was used at is Jack's Cove. Located at was once a lane and now Goulart Memorial Drive Jack's Cove was perfect because it was covered by trees for almost 270 degrees of view. It was also at the eastern end of both Goulart's farms so access was limited. Today one of the Goulart's farms is the Douglass Tree Farm and the other was located at the intersection of Winsegansett avenue and Sconticut Neck road where the log cabin is now.

The above image is "A where the barge was sometimes tied up for unloading, the clump of trees above letter is where a cottage stood", "B is the former Seaview Poultry Farm", and "C is one of the Goulart's Farms"

To get the barge to Jack's Cove a motor boat was used to tow it around Wilbur's Point and through the channel where the West Island causeway crosses now. The Causeway wasn't built until 1946 but several attempts to construct one where tried an early as the 1890's. Once set up the cargo was brought in by small boats from a contact ship and stored in a small cottage. The cottage was destroyed in the 1938 hurricane but a portion of it's foundation still remains. Sloops and ships were easily brought around the backside of West Island and anchored near Puppy Rocks where they would meet the smaller boats.

Jack's Cove

A newspaper article from the 1920's describe an airplane that landed, probably during a mechanical failure or bad weather event, was visible from the shore. It continued to describe how the plane became less and less as parts were removed and carted off the Island, presumably for reconstruction. The Island was uninhabited at that time, except for summers when a care taker lived there and cows were swum across to the Island to graze for the summer. The care taker lived in the large house at the top of the Island. Keeping liquor hidden on the Island would have been no problem. As early as 1925 police suspected liquor smuggling center. Residents of Sconticut Neck began complaining of automobiles racing up and down the Neck late at night. In February of 1925 two state policemen on motorcycles discovered a stalled truck. When they investigated further they discovered the truck loaded with liquor.

New Bedford Evening Standard

Saturday February 21, 1925

TRIO CAUGHT

LIQUOR SEIZED AFTER CHASE

TRUCK STALLS

POLICE SQUAD AND MEN RUN

Samuel Horenstein and Two Others are Arrested 110 Cases Are Confiscated Also 50 Were in Machine, 60 More Were in a Cottage

Captured after a chase in which 50 cases of Scotch whiskey were found in a stranded truck on Sconticut Neck road, Samuel Horenstein, 140 Newton street, New Bedford, James J. O'Grady, 7 Christian street, Fairhaven and Bartholemew J. Correia, Kane street, East Fairhaven were arrested about 7 this morning by state patrolmen John P. Sullivan and William H. Cotter.

They were arraigned before Judge Frank A. Milliken in Third District Court within a couple hour of their arrest. All were charged with keeping and transporting liquor. An additional charge of carrying a concealed weapon was placed against Mr. Correia. Henry E. Woodward, attorney represented the two when the cases were called in court. He entered pleas of not guilty for all and the cases were continued to March 4.

Were Good Samaritans.

Patrolmen Cotter and Sullivan made the arrests as a part of their attempt to play the part of Good Samaritan. They noticed the truck on the road about 7 A.M. and started to offer any assistance they could give when the three men saw the uniforms and they started to run across the fields. The two members of the state patrol jumped from their motorcycles in hot pursuit.

They captured two of the men without any difficulty. Mr. Correia ran behind a house and as state patrolman Cotter approached him, he put his hand in his rear pocket, as to draw a gun, the police said. The gun was not drawn. Patrolman Cotter took it away from his prisoner and placed the added count of carrying a concealed weapon against him.

With their prisoners, the two patrolmen returned to the truck. They said that they found fifty cases of Scotch whiskey in the machine. They learned that 60 more cases were concealed in a cottage on the shore of Brandt’s Cove.

Obtaining a search warrant from the Third District Court here, the patrolmen searched the cottage. The state police in Middleboro said the cottage belongs to a Providence man. In the event that that his cottage was used as a storage place for illegal liquor, an additional charge of breaking and entering will be placed against the three arrested men, state police asserted.

The trio was detained in the central police station here and released under bail bond prior to the arraignment in Third District Court.

The state police said that they believe that the men obtained the consignment of whiskey from a rum runner which came into Brandt's Cove. Unable to carry the entire load of 110 cases on their truck the men decided to take 50 cases and return for the rest in the cottage later, state police declared.

The next day in an attempt to prevent the transportation of liquor through Fairhaven, "authorities stationed ten patrolmen and constables on various routes leading into town that night. The men took their posts at 6 P.M. and remained on duty through the early morning. They were stationed at the direction of constables Walter H. Francis and Albert H. Aiken and were empowered to halt automobiles. The liquor patrol made it's first capture of the night at 9 when constable Macy F. Joseph stopped Candido F. Fonseca , 27, 244 Acushnet avenue and arrested him for alleged illegal transportation of liquor under the provisions of the "baby volstead act." He said that he found 3 gallons of moonshine in a Ford coupe in which Mr. Fonseca was driving towards Adams street from Long road in Fairhaven. Two of the gallons were contained in cylindrical oil cans and the other was in jugs, the constable said. Mr. Fonseca was brought to the central police station. His case is to be heard in third district court tomorrow morning, with constable Edward G. Spooner Jr, Francis and Joseph as prosecuting witnesses.

Constable Francis said that he was unable to estimate the number of automobiles that was stopped during the night. The patrol had been ordered to halt cars and search them if condition warranted. He said that the detailing of the patrols was partly the arrest of three men on the Sconticut Neck road early yesterday morning and the discovery of 50 cases of liquor on a stranded truck which they had been driving. Constable Francis believed that the patrols will help keep Fairhaven off the rum running route."

What they didn't know or admit is that Fairhaven was the rum running route.

Though not in the area or even Massachusetts, an interesting event occurred in New York.

New Bedford Evening Standard

April 8, 1925

Fast Rum Runner "Cigarette" Nabbed by US Customs MenContained No Liquor But Had Many Code Orders to Supply Ships

New York, April 8

Capture of the speedboat "Cigarette", described by customs officials as the official mail boat and express carrier of the rum runners along rum row, revealed yesterday, that apparently elaborate systems for delivering code and orders to liquor supply ships off the coast.

Five men who were aboard the boat were captured Monday by the Coast Guard and were charged today with violating the postal laws and were held for examination.

The Cigarette, said to be the fastest rum runner on this coast, contained no liquor when captured, but searchers discovered a quantity of mail, some from Canada, which they said contained coded orders to various rum row ships, as well as cancelled orders.

Edward Barnes, assistant solicitor of the legal division of customs house said a large number of orders of on the Cigarette were for the "Chapelle", reported to be lying about 25 miles off shore and suspected of being a liquor supply ship.

Being labeled 'the fastest rum runner on the east coast' was quite an achievement. With the Cigarette out of the picture the Black Duck would later became possibly the fastest.

In May of 1925 the previously mentioned "Women and Rum" event made headlines.

New Bedford Times

May 6, 1925

WOMEN AND RUM ON U.S. BOAT RAID NETS DRUNKEN CREW ON PICKET BOAT

Boatswain Leads Citizens, Comstabulary and Police in Descent on CG 2340

Women Escape in Darkness

A government picket boat consorting with rum runners; rum women and song in profusion; and a general "to do”" was to be found at Kell'’s Wharf in Fairhaven, Tuesday night shortly after midnight, when a body of indignant citizens, local police, state constabulary, and others, swooped down on the boatyard led by Warrant Boatswain J. M. Gray in charge of the patrol boat CG 237.

Members of the visiting party are reported to have found the picket boat CG 2340 tried up at Kelly’s wharf with the crew aboard, considerably under the influence of liquor. With the crew of 4 men were found 2 women. Just what the women were doing on the boat or where they came from, could not be learned. Nor could the steps be taken with the offenders uncovered. The woman escaped in the darkness and confusion.

The raiding party was comprised of Warrant Boatswain J. M. Gray of the CG 237, members of the crew of his vessel, Officer Quinland of the State Constabulary, Constables H. C. Akin and Officer E. G. Spooner of the Fairhaven police force, besides others, former selectman Lester J. Jenney of Mattapoisett who was summoned to the scene by a mysterious telephone call.

Mr. Jenny refused to say who had called him, but it was learned that the call came from Postmaster D. J. Kelly of Fairhaven son of D. N. Kelly, owner of the wharf at which the raid took place.

The raid in which the Coast Guard picket boat was captured by men from another Coast Guard boat followed close on the heels of a talk given before the old Colony Association of Congressional Churches, which is holding its 13th meeting and marrying, by Mr. Jenny, in which he intimated that the Fairhaven docks were infested with rum runners, who not only tied up at these at docks but also discharged cargoes at the wharves. While no definite wharf was mentioned in the statement made by Mr. Jenny, there was little left to the imagination in locating the wharfs which are alleged by Jenney to be dealing with the bootleggers and rum runners.

Times Verifies Story.

Warrant Boatswain Gray was reticent about discussing the affair. his vessel the CG 237, was tied up on the south side of the state year, which the CG 2340, after its “capture” was tied to the side of the larger vessel.

Boatswain Gray said “it is a most regrettable affair. I am heartily shaned of the boat alongside. Not only does the affair cast discredit on the vessel but also on the whole service.”

Grace said that due to his connection to the U.S. Treasury service, he did not care to make any statement in regard to the affair, but admitted that the facts the Standard had were substantially

D. N. Kelly, of the Kelly wharf, at which the discovery of the of the chaser with its alleged drunken crew was made was indignant that any as aspersions should have been cast on the character of the vessels which frequent his yards.

"I heard about this whole affair from my son, with whom I was talking this morning. It seems that this government boat came in here last night with the crew drunk as Lords. They had liquor with them and a couple of wild woman. My son was informed by the goings on by a man who was on the dock shortly before midnight and he immediately called up Mr. Jenney, and informed him of what was happening.

Glad Jenney Called.

"I am glad that my son called up Mr. Jenney. Mr. Jenney has been intimating that the rum runners land at this dock and unload their liquor. To my knowledge nothing like that happens in this yard. We repair all manner of vessels in these yards and seldom the day goes by that one of these rum runners may not be found on the stocks, undergoing some manner of repairs. We treat all boats alike and we would repair the government vessels as readily as the rum runners if they care use our space. We do not care what type of vessel ties up at the stock, for it is our business. But we do not allow rum to be landed if we can help it. Mr. Jenney’s insinuations are too pointed, and if any more of these remarks come to my ears, I will bring court action against Jenney."

Jenney intimated that the happenings of the night were but the forerunner of more to come which would be of any even more spectacular nature.

Warrant Boatswain Gray had been in port with the CG 237 since Saturday, he coming to this port in connection with the arrest of Louis Vincent who was the eighth member of alleged boot legging ring. Gray said he had been waiting for some disposition.

On May 9 Acushnet was in the spotlight. Note the estimated speed of the 'bowling" vehicle. Remember, this was 1925, truck technology was primitive, many still had hard rubber tires.

New Bedford Times

May 9, 1925

FIRE SHOTS TO STOP FLEEING MACHINE

Acushnet Police Capture One Truck Loaded With Liquor

Shots were fired by the Acushnet police under the command of Chief William E. Therrien in an effort to stop alleged rum runners at Perry's Corner early this morning, but the officers were unable to stop the first heavily loaded machine, getting the second with 43 cases of assorted liquors in which gin and brandy figured.

The officers who had a hint that the rum runners were coming through their territory, were laying in wait for the rum cargo carriers, who had divided into two groups to try to catch the machines. The first machine came upon the officers before they were able to stop the car or even able to get the license plates. The officer further up the road also made an attempt to try and apprehend the machine and officer Phaneuf fired several shots into the air in an attempt to frighten the driver into stopping. Instead of having the desired effect, the driver crammed on more speed and disappeared in a cloud of dust bound for New Bedford.

The second truck found the officers more ready and as it came bowling along at a rate of speed estimated to be about 35 miles an hour, the officers drew up the road and made the machine come to a stop. The driver jumped from his seat and dove over the barbed wire fence, disappearing in the neighboring woods. The officers did not see fit to follow the man being content to hold the truck which belonged to Albert Lopes, 256 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford. The truck contained 43 cases of liquor, which were turned over to the New Bedford police. No arrests in the case have been made as of yet.

Interestingly enough, the 43 cases of confiscated liquor was taken to the New Bedford police station for storage. When the court date for the case came only one case of booze could be found.

Also in April a Taunton event had made local papers.

New Bedford Evening Standard

April 1925

Found Load of Alcohol in Machine State Inspectors Hold Up Auto Bound From This City To Revere

Headlights that were not properly adjusted proved the undoing of two Revere men last night when they were held up by a trio of state vehicle inspectors.

While inspector Albert Lees, Hugh McDonald, and Earl C. Riley of this city were in Taunton last night for their campaign for properly adjusted headlights they saw a Packard Twin Six approaching them on Broad street with lights that were not focused properly and started to interrupt it's travel. The driver of the car, scenting trouble ahead, slowed down a little to change speed but before he could get going again the inspectors were before him and he ran his car into the curbing.

But the inspector found something besides defective headlights, for in the car was 35 one gallon cans of pure alcohol. The driver and owner of the car, Simon Adelberg, gave his address as Revere while his companion on the front seat gave his name as Samuel Onenberg also of Revere.

Adelberg told inspectors he was on his way from New Bedford to Revere and everything could be fixed up alright, if they were allowed to continue on their way as their employers were men of great influence on both ends of the rum running enterprise.

The story fell on deaf ears as the inspectors summoned Daniel Sampson who locked them up for transporting liquor and confiscated their load, storing it in the liquor store room at police headquarters.

Inspector Lees tried out the automobile and found it equipped with defective brakes and also stored it at Kiernan's garage until this morning when further action will be taken against Adelberg. I think it's safe to assume that the "employers of great influence" were Charles "King" Solomon and Louis and Max Fox.

Despite observations that say about 75% of town residents were involved in rum running in some form, bakers supplied yeast and sugar for distilling, boat yards profited and people were paid for storage use and keeping quiet, not all looked the other way.

New Bedford Times

May 12, 1925

TO RID TOWN OF RUM RUNNING

Petitions to be sent to Fairhaven Selectmen

Methodists social union also to ask Washington for station at Fort Rodman

Rev. G. D. Owens backs Tingley

Rev. Elwin Tingley, Center Methodist Episcopalian church, Fairhaven declared rum running in town was making "the town a joke in every New England seaport."

Rev. George D. Owens, pastor, First Congressional church, Fairhaven said he, "Also heard, there is a garage in the town that is actively engaged with the liquor business. However, there has been nothing that has come to my personal observation to indicate rum running on a large scale has been charged. But if this lawless element exists I will certainly join any movement to combat them."

I don't know which garage was referred to, but my guess is the Fairhaven Motors garage which was adjacent to the Fire Station. Firemen were paid for either setting a shed on fire or some other type of fire. Some were involved in transporting liquor also.

The next week a name appears in another seemingly insignificant article appeared that would later send shivers down Sconticut Neck.