New Bedford's Penniman and Kenyon Streets

April 02, 2012  •  3 Comments

Morris Koffman and Rosalyn Goldstein grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In March 2012, Susan and I visited to New Bedford and took some pictures from the neighborhoods where they lived.

Morris lived with his mother, Pauline Koffman, a caterer, at 153 Penniman Street. The block where that house was located was drastically altered by the construction of an exit ramp for Interstate I-140.  The ramp was constructed on the north side of the street, so all of those houses are gone.  But many of the houses on the south side are still there, but in poor condition. One was boarded up.  Two blocks up the hill was a house that, according to Susan's memory, was similar to Pauline's house.  They were nice houses.  Across the street was a laundry and a public school. The laundry building is now part of another business. The school is boarded up, but the property appears to be part of a small manufacturer that makes traps.

Here's a view looking east on Penniman.

IMG_7173

 
Here's one of the houses:
 
 
IMG_7171
The 1930 census lists Pauline (Bubbe to her grandchildren) Koffman, age 42, as the head household with four children, David, Hazel, Percy, and Morris (age 9).  Also listed is Wolf  Schwartz, Pauline's father, age 66, at the same address. Wolf is listed as a widow. Her husband, Louis, had died when Morris was 7. Both Pauline and Wolf show Russia as their birth place. Wolf is also Nancy Rakatansky's great-grandfather, just as he is the great grandfather for Susan and her sibs.
 
Here's the laundry, now another business:
 
New Bedford Industry
Susan recalls that Morris worked at a laundry when he was in high school. This would have been right across the street from his house.  Here's another view:
 
IMG_7200
Here are two views of the school on Penniman. One view shows it on the corner of Reynolds and Penniman. 
 
School on Penniman You can see the laundry up the hill on the left.  On the right is the ramp that comes off of I-140. The Koffman house was on the right up the hill and across from the laundry building.
 
 Here's a view from above the school looking back down the hill.
 
School on Penniman (1)
 
Here's a house, in very nice condition, further up the hill, at the corner of Penniman and Mt. Pleasant Street, that would have looked something like Pauline's house. Her house had three floors instead of two, and was certainly not green.
 
IMG_7208 Kenyon Street is a different matter.  The block where Rosalyn lived is completely gone. There is only one block left from Kenyon Street, and it is not nice.  We found a tire recycling facility, trash in the street, abandoned lots, and one really snarly little building, but photogenic.  Here are some views at Kenyon Street.
 
IMG_7227
IMG_7233 The snarly building:
 
South of these neighborhoods, there is large relic of New Bedford's past glory--an Orpheum theatre.  It opened April 15, 1912.  There is a big prize for anyone who can remember what happened that day.
 
Orpheum
 
If you have any history to add, leave a comment.

Comments

Linda(non-registered)
I thought the address for Bubbe Koffman was 334 Penniman. I haven't thought about it in a very long time, but it feels closer to her address. The laundry was right across the street and the school was a few blocks away on the other side of the street. When the site for the 1940 census becomes less busy, I want to try and get info from it.
Thanks for sharing these pictures.
Suto Photos
Thanks. I corrected the date. What else happened on April 15, 1912?
Susan Koffman(non-registered)
On the Orpheum Theatre contest: Tom means that the Orpheum opened on April 15, 1912 (the 2012 is, of course, a typo).
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