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, July 19, 2013

Meandering Along the Taunton River

It is wonderful to receive more information about the long gone Sabbatia Lake Park in Taunton. I hope to get more photos in the future and we will come back to this again.  For former Tauntonians, you may be interested in an invitational Facebook page.  Once accepted and registered you can participate in a great nostalgia dialogue.  The page is well administered and does not allow advertisements or personal information other than sharing nostalgia in photos, comments and stories.
 It is delightful. Look for  I'm From Taunton on Facebook.

There is another "cool" subject in Taunton history: the  Taunton River.  Once you start researching, it is fascinating to read of its importance all through Taunton history.  Forgive me the number of websites linkages I allude to, but the subject is unending for a former Tauntonian.

We are talking early 1900's and earlier, no doubt right back to the Native Americans who inhabitated Taunton.  There is a good website about many aspects of the river at this site.


From that site, I gleaned that:
   "Various cultures made the Taunton River central for their people.  There are remains of historic sites such as Native American trails (especially the Wampanoags who called it 'The Great River') , river crossings, settlements, remains of colonial grist mills, ship building yards, industrial iron works as well as paper and textile mills.

The River played a central role in battles between the Wampanoags and colonial settlers in the historic King Phillip's War in 1675, statistically considered one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. History.
The Taunton River flows for approximately 40 miles from the (beginning of the mysterious Hockomock Swamp) confluence of the Town and Matfield Rivers in Bridgewater, MA and continues through the towns of Halifax, Middleboro, Rayhnam, City of Taunton, towns of Dighton, Berkely and Freetown to the confluence of Mt. Hope Bay to the City of Fall River and town of Somerset.  

In 2009 the Taunton River advocates won designation as Wild and Scenic. This is important, as the website article quoted below explains, to protect it from the federal government allowing permits and funding which would endanger the River.  Historic cleanup has occurred to date. The River hosts the largest herring run (a symbol of Taunton) with up to 2 million fish swimming upriver annually.  When we were kids the herring run was a must see for all of us families each year. This vintage postcard from,+ma&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8dates dates back to 1911 --- and today the herring still run!!! 

There is a fine slide show of the event at the following link.   

  The River is the cornerstone of a 562 mile fresh water system providing essential services such as water filtration, flood protection and recreation to 38 towns.  Rainbow smelt, striped bass and bluefish enter it to feed. It is home to the rare Northern Redbelly Cooter turtle and the rare Brindle Shiner Fish as well as the river otter, 45 other species of fish and many species of shellfish, 154 types of birds including 12 rare types, mink, grey fox and deer.

Relating to the importance of the River to industy in Taunton I found this interesting. Though it has taken years to clean-up the river, there is little doubt that it was once the lifeblood of the city for the jobs in provided early immigrants as well as the way supplies came in to Taunton.

We can date the photograph below at around 1907 by researching the
history of Staples Coal, Co.
That company was incorporated in 1888 and was still going in 1930
when someone researching their grandfather on Ancestry found him working there at that time.  The company had 6 tugs and 22 barges and shipped coal from as far away as Cuba.  They had coal silos on Dana St. in Taunton adjacent to railroad tracks.  The advent of oil heating put an end to companies such as this.  That is just a bit of researching one can do into the history of the Taunton River.

   It is obvious from these old postcards that the river was once well utilized for recreation as well as industry.  How far we have come when now we have to work so hard to bring these waterways back to their pristine conditions. Still various waterway alliances are working to do just that.


There is a book written by Tauntonian Timoth Brown "On the Taunton River in Taunton, MA - a Journey down the River and Back in Time" which looks to be an interesting historical 
read on the River.

                                    Taunton even had its own Boat Club once upon a time....
what a lovely buccolic photograph.

When I said I was going to meander, I surely did just that didn't I?  I also promised that when I began this summer series, saying that summer is just for that.  Meander along with me with more of your thoughts and photos....there is surely so much more to share about this subject.

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