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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 23, 2013


Now that the tale of Mount Hope Hospital has been told in its context, I am back to Village affairs (for awhile at least). Once more we speak of how the Village stayed healthy .  One question for us growing up in the 40's and 50's is what happened to the family doc?

Before I begin, I must tell of a legendary name in our family. None of us ever knew him, only heard his musical name which engendered the legend and the phrase "Dr.Camoesa (pronouned kam-whiza), where are you....?"  How entrenched the legend was came home to us when  we were visiting my sister and her family in Michigan. My nephew who never lived in Taunton 
piped up that mantra  and we just howled. It had gone to another generation!

 I had to look into the legend.  Indeed, there was a Dr. Camoesa, a Portuguese physician  practicing in Taunton in the 40's.  One of my classmates remembered he had an office above the Park Theatre near her Aunt's insurance agency in the late 1940's and once tended to her when she got hit by a car in front of the Theatre (not badly, we are happy to report).
Dr. C. was once quite prominent in the Portuguese government as
Minister of Education, he started trade schools for boys there.
He had to leave Portugal when Salazar came into power in 1929 and
Dr. C. was on the opposite political side.
 As I said, I never met him.  He was probably elderly when my classmate met him.
Thanks to Cynthia Mendes and Arlene Gouveia for sharing memories of Dr. Camoesa.

                                                     Back to our own Family Doc

A mainstay for families in the Village and everywhere else, was the physician that took care of us from birth often all the way through adulthood.  He was as familiar to us as any family friend, though more important. This man knew our family, how we related, what our issues were, what our home looked like as he often came there if one of us could not go to his office.  He taught,  cared, laughed and cried with us. He provided us with a stable medical system.  All the time I was growing up neither I nor any one in my family ever visited an emergency room...course we probably predated them.

Our family Doc was Dr. Anthony Elias and he was village home grown!  So he really knew us!  Kind, patient, knowledgeable, eminently competent.  He saw us through many of my Dad's illness episodes and our once-in-awhile minor medical emergencies like bouts of severe poison ivy.  If you visited his office, there was just him. Period. No confusing medical insurance forms, no assistants or receptionists.

To know Dr. Elias you must know about his upbringing in the Village. Arlene Gouveia comes again to our rescue and tells us the tale of the Elias family who would have raised their family in the 20's in the Village. I wish I had known them.

                             Fuller School Class of 1919
                               Anthony Elias is in the third row, far left.  Next to him is Joseph Rose, Arlene
                  Gouveia's father and source of many of her memoirs.
         Photo from September 21, 2012 post in this blog.

Here is Arlene's memory of the Elias Family as her late father told her: 
Joseph Rose, and her late mother, Mary Rose.

"An oasis is defined as a welcoming spot in the desert.  Our oasis was in the personages of the Elias family.  Immigrating from Lebanon the Elias family settled in upper School Street.  First living in the block at 216 School, they bought the three decker across the street at 215 School, and the building next door at 217 that was once River's Pharmacy.  Then Nassif Elias had a variety store.  They raised four wonderful children who attended Fuller School and attended St. Anthony's Church.  They became a fabric of the neighbothood and were loved by all.  One of their children grew up to be Dr. Anthony Elias, a beloved physician in our community.  Their one daughter Genevieve became a navy nurse.
Another son was an altar boy at St. Anthony's until he married....."

It was always told in our family, that the Elias family, all of them, sacrificed much to send Anthony to medical school. When I read Dr. Elias' obituary I was amazed at his education.
I knew Dr. Elias was pretty special, now I know why.
 Keep in mind this education all took  
place in the 30's or 40's.

       Dr. Elias was educated in Taunton public schools, and  Providence College where he received a Ph. B degree in 1932.  He then graduated from the Georgetown Medical School (Washington D.C.) in 1937.  He served in the Medical Corps during WWII and retired as a
 Lieutenant Colonel. He then set up practice in Taunton.
He was often elected by his peers for medical society positions.

Pretty darn good for a Village boy!!  

On May 6, 1973 Anthony Elias, M.D. died suddenly while attending Mass at St. Mary's Church in Taunton, apparently of a heart attack.  He was 64 years old.

                          It has been my privilege to write this post in memory of that wonderful man.

The series Doc Martin on PPS probably comes close to the medical care we were used to, taking place in a small English town where the doc knows everyone and everyone knows him.  Over the years, along with the loss of so much stability in our lives in the Village, went the Family Doctor.
We have grown up to see change, confusion, disillusion along with incredible advances.
Yet still even today what matters, along with of course, capability,  is the
soothing confidence that our physician really knows who we are.

A thank you to Aaron Cushman, Research Department, Taunton Public Library
for finding Dr. Elias' obituary and photo.

Next post: last in the Village Healthy series
My tribute to nurses.


  1. Oh I see that smiling face of my Doctor and a flood of memories come to me. How I saw him of course changed as I grew and it was a gift for us because he knew everyone's family dynamics and oft times his cure was much more than medicinal. He offered supportive counseling always willing to listen and sage advice even about who was marrying whom. He knew how we would react to treatments before he began because he did know us. A special place in my memories will be of him especially as I accepted a vocation in nursing.