Thanks so much for the great response to this blog!
A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Friday, September 28, 2012


              Vintage photograph of the corner of School Street 
and Main in Taunton, MA 
in 1880

How is this for a beauty? One example of the fine vintage photographs to be found at the Old
Colony Historical Society.  Around this time period the first families of the School Street Village 
were arriving, setting the stage for their children and grandchildren.

I take this opportunity to share some of the sources I used for my genealogical work and for this blog.  Along with the personal memoirs and photographs in my own collection and that of friends and relatives these sources are invaluable for any time traveller.
The Old Colony Historical Society located on Church Green in Taunton is a treasure trove.
The archives and very good assistance from the staff will keep you enthralled for hours.

Another source is the Taunton Public Library Research department.  Even by telephone they supported my work and found source material in their archives.

 Believe it or not The New Bedford Public Library has (hopefully, still has) a genealogical department and genealogist on staff.  When we were there my husband and I found our names in a book of marriages and baptisms of families at parishes in Fall River. As his grandparents were from there, we were listed though we married in N. Dighton!

I also recommend you visit your own library wherever you are.  Today they are often
linked to all of the major genealogical research sites such as 
 Once you have a library card and code you can go right into these and enjoy your findings.

The Portuguese American Genealogical and Historical Society has its papers now at the Old Colony Historical Society; you can find their information on the internet and subscribe to their newsletter.

Written sources I recommend are:

Samuel Hopkins Emery: The History of Taunton, Massachusetts from its Settlement Until the
Present time, 1893   This out of print tome is fascinating.  I could not trust my eyes when I found a beautiful old copy in the tiny Little Compton, Rhode Island library where I was living when I did much of my family genealogy. Here you will find information on the founding of Taunton. As I looked online for this book (994 pages long) I found an online digitalized version of the 1923 publication: they warned that many of the pages were faded and difficult to read.
The copy in Little Compton was perfect. Genealogical research is all about the hunt!

William F. Hanna: A History of Taunton    If you do not yet have this book published by Taunton resident and historian Dr. Hanna, send for it from The Old Colony Historical Society. It is a long treatise but so worth reading.

Shirley Rebelle: Portuguese in the City of Taunton, Massachusetts from 1930 to 1983.
This is a thesis written in 1983 for Bridgewater State College and is on file there.  There I found important information on the early history of the Portuguese population in Taunton.

Thursday, September 27, 2012



                                                    Dr. Sunwolf@Word Whispers on Twitter
                                             photograph by the late Angi Souza
                                       altered color by me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Throughout one's life memories play a song in the heart.  Sometimes an ode to joy, other times a
foxtrot, and here and there a mournful dirge. 

 If a person is lucky, early memory songs all begin in the same happy place wrapped within a cocoon of nostalgia.  Time does its task and burnishes it in gold.

I grew up in such a place, a Village right here in the good ol' U.S.A.  My village was in Taunton,
Massachusetts, a small New England city.  Geographically, Taunton is 40 miles south of Boston, 10 miles north of Fall River,  25 miles west of Plymouth and 18 miles east of
Providence, Rhode Island. 

 Tucked into the northwest corner of Taunton, my Village was called The School Street Village, or simply The Village.  It was bordered on one end by our Church: St. Anthony's, and at the other by St. Joseph's Cemetery.  Smack in the middle of it - the heart - was the  wooden
5 grade school house: Fuller School.
The Village circled around its main corridor: School Street.

It was a privilege to grow up in The School Street Village, about a 1 x 1 square mile of homes, neighborhood stores and small businesses.  All of these entities  housed families and folks we all knew . Throughout this blog I will share wonderful photographs of many of these.  I will not be
naming names unless you give me permission or unless they are of public record.

As children growing up we did not realize the net of safety we occupied.
We ran around the Village instinctively knowing we could go into
any house or shop if we needed help.

Like a tribal commune nearly everything we needed could be found in those years within its confines.
Later we will talk about the economy, the families of the Village as well
 as the faith we shared there.

I was born in 1940 and these are some of the photos of my years at Fuller School.
I went to Mrs. Cadell's preschool and somehow managed to skip first grade at Fuller, entering in
the second. However, as a child of the Village
it was no great problem.

I already knew and played with all the children I joined.

I do not  remember where Mrs. Cadell's (above) was located in Taunton. Only that in 1945
 she picked each child up in this wooden station wagon.
 I think I recognize many of the you? I am the first on the left.

Above the 1947 first grade class at Fuller School...of course, I am not yet there.

Ta Da - below  in the picture of
the Fourth Grade at Fuller in 1949 there I am second row left from the top.
This would have been Miss Margaret Coleman's class.  Just above me first to left is
the late Cecilia Mendes Rodier, next to her the late Elsie Rapoza. Boy to my left is the
late Norman Da Costa.  Front row: left to right: Elaine Farinha DeMoranville, second in after her is Teresa Rezendes Morris, then Cynthia Luz Mendes, Virginia Lopes McKenna and the
late Beverly Ann Martin. To row to far right is the late Anthony Butler.

Monday, September 24, 2012

FULLER SCHOOL on School St. was built in 1875 or 1876 when the school committee decided that the area needed another school because of the influx of immigrants.  It was named after Wilbur Eddy Fuller, a Harvard educated principal in Taunton who later became a judge.  Judge Fuller's daughter married Dr. Henry Dauphin who built the historic Dauphin estate in School St.  Here is a photo of that estate in 1909 (from my files: I believe source: Bristol County Historical Society). That famous fence we all loved to run our hands along, or kick leaves into or, in some cases, to write upon....... I remember that cows pastured in the meadow behind that fence.

I am looking for others to share their memories of Fuller School and more....I have more but want to hear from others,  I know you are out there, in the few days since this blog has been up there have been over 100 visitors!! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Another great photo of third graders at Fuller School in 1929.

Many thanks for the photographs and written memories
from Arlene Rose Gouveia which her mother began collecting and Arlene kept
adding to (I well remember Arlene's mother).  Also, thanks to Elaine Farinha DeMoranville
for her photos and also her research at the Bristol County Historical Society in Taunton.
Linda at the Research Section of the Taunton Public Library also assisted.
My cousin, Shelley Au (daughter of my Aunt Alveda Souza ) also carries on her
mother's tradition of keeping precious photos.
I hope that all of you readers will
add your names here, too.

My own research into the genealogy of The Souza family in Taunton and
that of my mother's family, especially my grandmother Isobel Mota,
gave me much opportunity to delve into Taunton history.  If you are interested
in reading a summary of Searching for Isobel, my grandmother's life, you can find it at

                         You will note that the photograph of my grandmother is incomplete, another
mystery to add to her life and history.  It took nearly ten years to write these two family histories.
It was a labor of love which resulted in finding a missing family member.

The School Street Memoir
project is another labor of love.

Friday, September 21, 2012


                                             1919 School Picture at Fuller School
                       let us know if you recognize anyone. Third in front row is Margaret Rico Luz

Welcome to the birth of this blog celebrating the history of growing up in the School Street Village in Taunton, Massachusetts.  This is the first, I hope, of many blog posts sharing our memories, reliving them and letting them refresh us as we travel life's journey.  As some of you know, for the last two years I have been writing Memoirs of  School Street Village.  It is in the final writing and drafring stages.  My personal "editor" is proofing them.  When finished it will be available in digital form, that is I will share the files with anyone who wishes it.  I hope that the work and wonderful photos collected for my Memoir can be shared
with many others on this blog and
that it will elicit more photos from readers.

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