Swansea Historical Society

The Colony Historic District - Information based on the National Archives Catalog


"The Colony, a cohesive waterfront cluster of late 19th and early 20th-century cottages, retains integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, and association and is significant on the local level."

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: "The Colony's historical significance lies in its association with resort and ensuing suburban development in Swansea at the turn of the 20th century, a time when residents of neighboring industrialized cities such as Fall River sought alternatives to urban living. Early owners of these homes were mostly Fall River businessmen.
The land upon which the Colony was built was known in the late 17th century as Mattapoisett. Purchased from King Philip of the Wampanoags by the Brentons of Newport, the territory was conveyed in 1693 to Samuel Gardner and Ralph Chapman. The Gardner family farmed much of the southern portion of the territory—now known as Gardner's Neck in South Swansea — until construction of the Fall River & Providence Railroad across the Neck in 1855. With the railroad accessibility came subdivision of farms for the construction of summer homes in the last quarter of the 19th century. Greater accessibility generated by later transportation improvements such as the streetcar and the automobile contributed to steady suburbanization of the Neck beginning in the early 20th century."

The Colony Historic District Map

More detailed information on The Colony Historic District can be found on the National Archives website:

The Colony
The Colony
The Marvell House
The A. T. Marvell House
15 Mattapoisett Avenue
The Davol House
The A. P. Davol House
28 Mattapoisett Avenue
The Colony 4 Houses
The H. M. Prescot House
35 Mattapoisett Avenue
No Photo Available
40 Mattapoisett Avenue
The Colony 4 Houses
1536 Gardners Neck Road
No Photo Available
1550 Gardners Neck Road
No Photo Available
1562 Gardners Neck Road