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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Of course, it was great  trick or treating in the Village.  My mother Angi Souza and Aunt Eleanor Souza were great for planning parties, especially at Halloween, when we lived on Blinn's Court.  This wonderful Halloween party photo is from 1949. I was 9 years old.  The party was held in the basement of our 3 decker (we on the first floor, my Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Bunny and their children on the second floor, my Aunt Alveda and Uncle Ziggy and their little boy up on the third: my brother was very little and would go from one to the next telling one he was going to the other and then skip out...)

That is me in the Carmen Miranda outfit in the middle, the late Cecilia Mendes Rodier to my right, Gina Lopes McKenna to her right.  The late David Gallego over on the almost far left...recognize others?

Do you remember any Halloween treasures we can share?

We live now on a tiny island and this morning went downtown for coffee.  All the merchants were in costume in front of their shops while hordes of dressed up tots and their parents paraded from one to another. They had been bussed in from various preschools.  It made us thankful to be living in a small place again, and my thoughts went back to our Village.  My sister reminded me I had this photo and it fits perfectly.

In the next post I will be sharing some of the very welcome comments from readers of this blog.
Thank you each and all.  It is so exciting to see that others are willing to share the magic. Keep those comments coming, they enrich us all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Thanks to Arlene Gouveia's comment  sharing a memory of how Hood milk bottles were configured to catch the cream at the top and the special spoon her mother had to get it out.  I found this photo on E-Bay (they are selling one for $44!) so here it is in all its glory.

If regular milk was not for you in those days, there was local Village milk.  Yes, there were cows in the Village.  What is a Village without cows?

Speaking of milk and Arlene Gouveia here is a great story she recounted in her Memories of the Village, a collection of stories from her parents and friends and her own memories.

    Each day in the late afternoon, up from Longmeadow Road and their pasture at Jerry's Farm would come tall and stately Mr. John Seimas leading his small herd of cows through Braga Square to the barn at 44 Floral Street.  The lead cow had a bell around her neck and I can still hear the soft ring as they made their dignified and slow way home.  For awhile in the Village there were two herds so an agreement had to be made not to incur a "cow jam".  Mr. William Rosa coming home to 204 School Street would come through the square at 5 p.m. following Mr. Seimas at 4:30.  Cars knew to settle down patiently and wait.  But, then there were fewer cars. 

These small dairy farmers, Mr. Rose being Arlene's grandfather, worked hard.  They milked their cows early in the morning, took them to pasture, delivered the milk,  then went off
 to "regular"jobs. Mr. Rosa had a horse that was blind but knew where to go and when to
stop on the delivery route.
                    (memories of Emma Andrade,Jeannette Nascimento and Joseph Rose).

I well remember Mr. Seimas coming home with his cows walking with a large staff to gently coax them into the right direction if needed.   But, I can still hear the sound of their bells and slow plodding hoof beats on the pavement.  If anyone has a photo of that event in the Village, please share it with us?

This is an old photo of my sister Kathy, my brother Frank and I with our Dad down at a creek pool where we used to wade around the area of Jerry's Farm on Longmeadow Road.  I could not find a photo of the cows evening walk home but did find a nostalgic video on You Tube which, if you close your eyes or think of pavement instead of a the dirt road, could be down at the Village. Of course, we had no lovely mountains either...or goats that I can remember.  But, you will still get the feeling, that is what counts.

                Click on the ad on the video to eliminate it quicker then enjoy these peaceful moments.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


As we chatted about the little neighborhood markets and their delightful accessibility, my sister Kathy remembered her late husband, Leo Campanirio (a great Village storyteller if ever there was one). He said that when he was little his family lived in The Block, a one story apartment building mid-Village which was right next door to Santos Market.  At the age of 2 years, his Mom would send him to Santos to pick up some grocery item or another....  The Village was a safe place.

                                                                  circa 1950's Fall River, MA
                                                               my father-in-law delivering Hood milk

Everything was all around families in the Village.  Milk and cream were delivered to your door. This is a photo of my husband's Dad, George Pineault, who delivered milk to the Highlands in Fall River for years including the time we are discussing here.  I recall that the milk, in glass bottles, sometimes was placed right in your refrigerator by your milk man. The cream would sit high in the bottle atop the milk and we would love putting it on our hot Cream of Wheat cereal.

 Our milk man in the Village was Albert Poole, for years he delivered milk until one day he became our insurance man....for just as long.  When I became a hospital administrator I met another who was Albert's daughter...circles going out from the Village.

If you required other items, they could usually be found in either yours or a neighbor's yard. The idea of victory gardens was alive and well still in the Village. Many of the houses in the Village had large back
lots which houses chicken coops and large gardens like this one found on the Internet.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


                                               Ventura Grocery in the Village in the 40's or early 50's
                                                                ...before my time, I think

When you entered the front door, the sound of a little bell announced your arrival in the unusual case that no one was minding the store.  You all knew each other.  Your receipt was written with the stub of a pencil on the paper bag where your groceries were placed,
the addition written in the same place.
Your meat was wrapped in waxy white paper tied with string.

When you walked in everything was right there in front of you: no need for a big wire carriage.  No need to walk a mile searching frustratingly for what you needed.  Anyway, you were probably a kid with a list and a few dollars from your Mom.  If you paid, a clanging sound on the cash register, along with the slap of the drawer, announced the fact. Otherwise, you were adding to your credit account.

Cynthia Luz Mendes remembered that although it was open there was not always someone in the White Front Market.  You had to call upstairs for Mrs. Aguiar who came down and helped you - even if it was only for some gum...

             Here are some of the long gone costs of items in the little grocery stores in the Village.

This price list is from a small neighborhood grocery store in Kingston, N.Y.
If you are interested it is an interesting 
website about this very subject.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The School Street Village was a world unto itself with a shared culture, faith and
language.  The Village assured itself of its own food supply, its own
education and much of its entertainment.  All of it resting on its economy
as the Village was a well-spring of industrious people.

Families, if they had one at all, had a single car.  It was possible to walk just about everywhere. If it rained or it snowed, there was always the bus.

Small businesses dotted the Village.  You could find nearly everything to feed 
your family, and more,
by taking a short, pleasant, and often informative walk to one of the
 markets that hugged  the corners of the Village. 

A partial list of those small markets would read:  

    Jardin's Market...corner of Purchase and Wilbur St.
     (later  Joe's Market  and way before that Swayback's Market)

    Serras Market: School St. just down from the Portuguese American Civic Club

    White Front Market on Winter St.

    Thomas' Market: corner of School St. and Longmeadow Road.
     DeSouza's Market- Washington St. just outside the Village proper.

   Santos' Market mid School Street

   Taunton Baker Shop: School Street

   Broadway Bakery: still there in another incarnation.

Before my time there was
Anabel Gomes Grocery, Johnny Soares Meat Store, Pestana Grocery Store, Frank Venture on Floral St., Azevedo Baker Shop, Tony Morals Store and Mrs. Gibeau Store of School Street.

                                        Santos Grocery Store on School Street circa 1950's
 Close your eyes and remember: the clean tangy smell composed of sawdust
on polished wood floors,
open baskets of fruits and vegetables.  The smell of really fresh meat.
 It was easy to maintain high standards in those
small spaces.  Proprietors wore clean white aprons
 tied in the front.
 The men wore hats as did Mr.
Santos in this great photograph above.

Stay tuned for a lot more wonderful photographs and memories.

Photographs from Arlene Rose Gouveia and memories helped by Emma Andrade, Cynthia, Mary and  Elsie Abreu.  Note : Arlene gathered many of these photographs and memories from her work for the Old Thyme Taunton radio series hosted by Charlie Crowley and for the St. Anthony's Centennial Booklet.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Taunton is a very old city and before I was born had had a rich history from colonial times . I found the photo above  among my treasures.  I cannot assign authorship, as I made a faux pas and did not keep note of it.  But, it may have been The Bristol County Historical Society.  Though this was not taken in the Village, here in 1900 is Mr. Chester H. Morse and Miss Rachel Morse in the first motor car in the city.  The car was made in in Easton, MA.

In 1900 the Village was just beginning to be formed. Portuguese immigrants were coming to the city and settled near relatives and friends. That was often in the School Street area. Many of those first immigrants, such as my grandparents, would never learn the English language, leaving it up to their children to translate if needed.  When I came along I would grow up with the soft syllables of the Portuguese language being a familiar and comforting sound all around me.  I would grow up to miss it and to be sorry that I had not learned to speak the language of my forebears.

World War II ended in 1945.  I remember as a five year old being taken out into Braga Square as all the bells in Taunton rang out. I remember a big crowd of cheering neighbors and that I wore a blue chenille bathrobe.  It was the start of a new day for the nation and the Village.

Minimum wage was $.43 an hour, 55% of American homes had indoor plumbing, life expectancy was 68.2 years of age for women and 60.8 for men.  Teacher salaries were $1,441 a year.

Optimism was everywhere.  My father started a small electrical company.  As we shall see later the sense of entrepreneurship was alive and well in the Village.  We were always a gang of kids who grew up together.  Here are myself, far right with Sonny Mador, Norm DaCosta behind him,my brother Frank with the hat.  My cousin Helena next to him, my sister Kathy next to her and Paul Alvarnaz behind her.  Do not know the middle guy.  I think these are correct names....  Taken at our home in Taunton.

Sources: The Internet, my photo archives. We will speak more about Braga Square later, I promise.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A view of the Village in the 50's

   This is what we, as children, saw as our world going home from Fuller School each day.
Corner of Blinn's Court and School....I think.  Check out the cars.

Our world was the village and Fuller School. Our teachers were important examples for our lives.
Kathy has shared photos of Ms. Dupont and Ms. Buckley.  Here are a few of my own memories of
those marvelous women and those days.

Miss Ethel Buckley taught second grade (you can all correct me if I am wrong here). She was tall (to us) and when the boys got rambunctious she put them in the supply closet and shut the door...a precursor to today's time out.  No corporal punishment. The closet was as big as a small room and had a window it I am not mistaken.

Miss Marguerite Hoye was a sparkling individual...more than her personality, her smile had its own bling with a little gold cap on one of her teeth. Didn't she have a whole grocery store setup with make-believe grocery boxes and a little cash register, so we could learn to count money?  In her grade three, I memorized the Night Before Christmas and recited it in front of the whole class....I still feel that sense of stage fright.

Miss Margaret Coleman had silver/blue hair and liked the color blue. All around the classroom above the blackboards or at the top of them were the words :
I think most of us got that message as we made our way through life to adulthood with its challenges.

The teachers all went downtown to the elegant Leanard's Soda Fountain where they congregated and probably shared student stories of the day.  Leanard's had marble topped tables and wrought iron chairs.

There are a few more memory blogs to share about our Fuller School Days. Come on folks, fess up and share your memories.  They are so good for all of us.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another teacher photo!

This is a picture of Miss Buckley from 1953. She was the second grade  teacher at Fuller School. I remember Miss Lynds, Miss Coleman and Miss Hoye. If I had a problem in school, since we lived only a few houses away , my parents would be informed before I even left the school yard.  Of course, I might have played a game of marbles with my bag of agates, especially my cat's eye, before I left. Just the same there was very close communication between parents and teachers. We were expected to have respect for teachers and all adults. It was a way of life that I fear we are losing. It was like talking in the movies- it was not allowed- but that is another story. Remember Saturdays at the  movie theater?  

Kathleen Souza Campanirio


" Story telling: The World"s Second Oldest Profession"  
  Danny Harris

This blog is all about storytelling.
Hans Christian Anderson said that "Life itself is the most wonderful
Fairy Tale." Growing up in the Village in School Street was like that for me.
I remember as a child that the art of conversation and story weaving was all around us.
It was celebrated on front stoops and at family gatherings.
There was embellishment, of course, it is said that
the art of storytelling is to leave the story better than
you found it ( Mrs. Humphrey Ward).

In beginning with the story of Fuller School and what it meant to us, we are starting that story.
I miss those days don't you?  Help us to revive it here and share it over and over again. Make it a part of our own family legacies.

This is just a part of my genealogical and history files and photographs,
not included 
are the digital files on my computer.
It is a constant struggle to keep it organized, but a labor of love.

Thank you so much to my sister, Kathy, for stepping up to the plate and
sharing the precious photo of Sophia Dupont and her memories of her.

That photo sparked more thoughts for me, seeing those big tall windows again and the dark wood surrounding them.  For a child those windows were enormous, the dark wood comforting.

Kathy is going to guest blog again with more photos of Fuller Teachers and
then I will jump back in again.

Can you jot down some memories and get into your old photos and join in?
Just email them to me at
 or if you want to guest blog that would be fine, too.

I am amazed at the response, as readers continue to come on to the blog.
Check out the map....interesting and making this endeavor worth while.

Back later....Sandy

Friday, October 12, 2012

Our Principal

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in my sister's blog as a guest blogger.

This is a snapshot in the auditorium of Fuller School.The individuals are: the President of the PTA, Mr. Aristides Andrade and our Principal, Miss Sophia Dupont. She was so poised and encouraged us to be our best in every thing we endeavored to do. Years later as a young adult I visited with her at her home on Church Green many afternoons.
She was a wonderful role model for all of us.She was impeccably attired and always so gentile.Sandy and I talked about her having beautifully manicured "red"fingernails Imagine!  I do not remember her ever being out of sorts always in control.

                     Kathy Souza Campanirio class of 1953 Fuller School

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Remember those funny cardboard pencil boxes?  You can see that my sister Kathy and I are holding them for the first day of school.  We are all dressed up....remember when grunge was not the fashion?

(Our hair is in "Banana curls"....set tight in rags the night before so that was hard to find a comfortable place to put yout head to sleep.)

*as Kathy said earlier in a comment, we remember those oiled wood floors kept so clean at Fuller. Everything was wood, those beautiful stairways included.  All kept sparkling by the school custodian, Joe Cardoza. In the middle of the building between the classrooms were wooden parititions where you hung your jackets and left your boots.

*ink well holes in the desks, empty since now ink was no longer used.

Recess: Oh, boy.  Favorite time of the day for all of us.  Cousin Jackie from Texas, who attended Fuller for a while remembers the little cartons of milk and the cookies for snack.

The school yard surrounded the school.  Hard packed dirt with tall trees keeping sentinel on the right side near the fence next to the Alvarnaz home and yard.  The hard packed dirt was great for playing "Red Rover, Red Rover...send Sandy over...:  You aways hoped that someone would call your name.  Also, Red Light and Statue Tag and other run around games.  Scooped out holes in the dirt for playing with marbles.  There was some pavement in front of the main door and that is where the rhythm of jump rope mantras calmed the air and and jump rope (or ropes if double), spun in the air.

I close my eyes and can see it.  I can hear the sound of the hard earth beneath my feet and Mary Jane shoes.  

What do you remember?

More to come......

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Remember this kind of desk at Fuller School?  This is an image I found in Pinterest, but it is close enough, right?  Remember how we could swing the chair around?  Both chair and desk were bolted to the floor.  A wise move, no doubt.

For 90 years Fuller School was the first education experience for most children in the Village.
Now it lives only in our memories.  It was destroyed in 1969 with barely a whisper, just a sigh.
The demolition made way for more business area for Abreu oil which was right behind it.

A few facts are due here.  Fact: between 1895 and 1900, there were no Portuguese graduates of elementary or high school in Taunton.  In 1917, there was one high school graduate and between 1915 and 1929, there was an average of four Portuguese high school graduates with more women than men.
Between 1890 and 1917 there were only three known Portuguese professionals in Taunton: a physician, Emmanuel Dutra who practiced near St. Anthony's for three years then left, and Manuel S. Silva the first Portuguese graduate from Taunton High School to become a civil engineer.  Sophia Dupont may have been the third.  Born around 1890, Miss Dupont, (as we knew her) would have been in her 20's when she attended Bridgewater State Teacher's College around 1911.  No mean feat for a
young woman at that time.  Of course, we never knew all that.  We just knew her as the Principal of Fuller School and our 5th grade teacher. Miss Dupont died in 1975. She was the first Portuguese teacher in Taunton to attain the position of Principal.

Memories of Miss Sophia Dupont: a rich lovely contralto voice and laugh, rings on her fingers which were tipped with red nail polish ( we were not used to that...), kindness and gentleness in her demeanor.

More on the next post about our days at Fuller School: until then anyone out there have a photograph of Miss Dupont???? As always feel free to send in your own memories to augment mine.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The 1910 postcard is of a garage in Taunton at that time.  One notices that cars are replacing the horse and buggy seen in a previous photo.  My grandfather, Joseph Souza, did have a horse and wagon for his wood cutting business in the early to mid-1900's.  Prior to that he and my maternal grandfather, Manuel Mota, both worked at a brick works somewhere on Longmeadow Road.
                                                    Did you know there was one there?  
I learned this in the City Books at the Historical Society.  I could not find any photos or more information of that factory, except that I am told one can still dig up old bricks in that vicinity.

The majority of the people in the Village were Portuguese. They built the Village around them, for themselves and the children and grandchildren they would bear as American citizens.  Many of these immigrant parents would never see siblings and families in the old country again.  They followed their dreams.  Settling near to friends and relatives offered them some of that family 
feeling they left behind.
They shopped their little neighborhood stores and bought from local vendors.

My paternal grandmother Delphina Viera Souza 
probably circa early 1900's