The Seaman's Bethel
is a chapel
in New Bedford, Massachusetts
built in 1831
-32 to honor men killed in the region's profitable but perilous whaling industry
. The bethel was immortalized in Herman Melville
, as the "Whaleman's Chapel" in a scene where a fire-and-brimstone sermon
is given from a bow
The pulpit was introduced by Melville, but a replica of the one described in the book was added to the chapel in 1961. Other changes had been made when the structure was repaired after fire struck in 1866. The names of New Bedford whalers killed, and later all area fishermen, are noted on the walls of the bethel. Also noted is the pew that Melville sat in when he visited in 1840.
The bethel has been part of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park since 1996 and is open to the public.