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These former Plantations are a complex of museums devoted to early American life. The art museum contains antique toys and the largest collection of Currier and Ives lithographs in the country. A 1912 carousel is a favorite with children. A replica of a Shaker roundhouse contains antique cars. Antique firearms and uniforms are on display in the Military Museum. Charles Dexter, the original owner, spent years here planting and perfecting varieties of rhododendrons. Please note the museum and gardens are open seasonally.
The New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park honors the whaling tradition of New England at this park, museum and gardens. The museum houses a old-fashioned whaling schooner. scrimshaw and other memorabilia from the 19th Century.