For 90 years the Dabneys, an American family from Boston, lived on the island of Faial, in Azores. Three generations of Dabneys grew business in the region through shipping and whaling business but also served the U.S. as Consuls.
The family story begins in 1806 when John Bass Dabney was named the American Consul to the Azores. He was then followed by his son Charles and finally by his grandson Samuel.
Samuel was the last Dabney in the island and decided to leave mainly because consuls were not allowed to engage anymore in commercial activities, and with the boosting of competition between other ports such as the one in Ponta Delgada, the number of ships decreased significantly and the family business Dabney & Sons declined.
So, unable to keep the business and his political role, the family departed in 1892 back to the U.S. . However, they left their mark in the territory and in the story of the islands through both architecture and botany. Nowadays the former summer house built in Faial by Charles William Dabney in 1854 is an Interpretation Centre.
The “Dabney’s House” (http://siaram.azores.gov.pt/centros-interpretacao/casa-dos-dabney/_intro.html) is located in the unique landscape of Monte da Guia. The residential complex includes a house with a cistern, a pier and a boat shelter, a viewpoint and a small area of vineyards. In the old cellar, now beautifully renewed, you can visit the special exhibit that shows the journey of the Dabney family in the Azores.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum, Massachusetts, has also in its collections some of Dabney’s Family Photos which are available for the public on Flickr* and are proof of the memorable times lived by the family during the 19th Century in the Azorean islands.