Hetty Green was a New Bedford original. She was born in 1834, the daughter of successful whaling agent and oil manufacturer Edward Mott Robinson and Abby Howland.
Decades later. she was known as the “Witch of Wall Street,” and was considered the richest woman in America. Green passed on in 1916, but the interest in her life and her family has never faded away.
Irene Duprey-Gutierrez, a long-time educator on the SouthCoast and a former talk show host on WBSM, will bring Hetty Green to life with performances this summer at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
The performances begin on Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m., and continue on the last Sunday of every month through the summer.
Gutierrez admits she’s always had an interest in Hetty Green.
“I grew up on Hetty lore, my grandfather remembered riding on the trolly with her in 1898 or something,” she said. “My parents went to dances at Round Hill when Col. Green opened his parking lots for free dances on Saturday nights, so I’ve heard about Hetty since the day I was born. I’m fascinated by her!”
Gutierrez told us Green had a challenging family life, often shunned by her father who was hoping for a son, but Green did make amends with her father, and learned some business lessons that would prove important in her own life.
Gutierrez has been a volunteer at the National Park for all 25 years of its existence.
“When they first started talking about it, I thought, that would be great for New Bedford, we have so much to offer,” she said. “We are one of the smallest national parks, but we’re good. We do a good job!”
The complete interview with Irene Duprey-Gutierrez can be heard here:
Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program that airs every Sunday at 6 and 11 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.
The program features interviews with individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.
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