Fairhaven, residential town (1990 pop. 16,132), Bristol co., SE Mass., at the mouth of the Acushnet River on Buzzards Bay, opposite New Bedford; settled 1670, set off from New Bedford and inc. 1812. A former whaling center, from which Herman Melville sailed in 1841, Fairhaven has commercial fishing industries, boatyards, and plants making machinery, tires, mattresses, and nails. It is also a summer resort.
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