"PADANARAM FROM THE BREAKWATER"
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The name “Padanaram” came from a prominent early resident named Laban Thatcher, who identified with the Biblical figure Laban who resided in Paddan Aram in Mesopotamia. The village eventually adopted this new name, and dropped its earlier Wampanoag name, “Ponagansett.” Paddan Aram or Padan-aram was an early Aramean kingdom in Mesopotamia. Paddan Aram in Aramaic means the field of Aram. The name may correspond to the Hebrew “sedeh Aram,” or “field of Aram.”
The village of Padanaram was one of many settlements that began cropping up within the town of Old Dartmouth after its purchase from the Wampanoag by members of the Plymouth Colony in 1652. During King Philip's War the settlement was burned down and all cattle killed. The only settlers who survived were those who heard a warning and fled either to Russell's Garrison or Cooke's Garrison. Remains of the settlement can still be seen at the foot of Lucy Street. In the mid-18th century it became a shipbuilding center. In September 1778, during the American Revolution, the British attacked nearby New Bedford with a small force attacking Padanaram. The 19th century saw Padanaram prosper as a minor whaling port, as well as home to a large salt works. As these industries died out, "the village" (as it is referred to by locals)