Haffenreffer, Rudolph Frederick, 1874-1954
Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, Jr. (1874-1954), a native of Boston and a first generation German-American, became a successful Fall River brewer and purchased several hundred acres in Bristol from 1903 to 1912 for use as a summer retreat. His acquisitions included Mount Hope and the Bradford House.
After completing his basic education in the Boston school system, young Rudolph was sent to Stuttguart, Germany to study chemistry. Upon his return to the United States, Rudolf attended the “United States Brewers Academy” in New York and studied Chemistry and the science of fermantation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1895, he established the “Old Colony Brewery” in Fall River and later acquired several other brewerys over the years “to his brewing empire.”
In 1903 he purchased the 69 acre former”Mount Hope Amusement Park” in Bristol on the shores of Mount Hope Bay. Mr. Haffenreffer expanded his Bristol estate with the acquisition of the abutting 500 acre Mount Hope Farm. While walking around his working farm in Bristol and on travels to his western mines, Haffenreffer found many native American artifcats, which became the basis of a collection and a passionate hobby. His “passionate hobby” became the basis for the King Philip Museum–now the Brown University Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.
He was a noted entreprenuer and philanthropist. Some of his businesses included the Narragansett Brewery, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, and several western mining companies. In 1931, Mr. Haffenreffer was granted receivership of the failed Mount Hope Bridge Corporation. The new bridge was open just days before the the stock market crash of 1929. Haffenreffer’s benefactions included the Wampanoag tribe, the Boy Scouts of America, and several universities, including Brown.