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.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Indeed, this blog is just that…a mosaic.  Look at this precious piece of the Village Story! This is a family photograph of the Castro family who lived on Purchase St. in the Village.  The young man in the center, only son in a bevy of 8 daughters, is the father of Jimmy Castro, a classmate of
mine from Fuller School, and Jimmy's sister Joan.
It is Joan who has shared this amazing photograph with us. 
Thank you, Joan! 

 I have known Jimmy, who is my age, all my life.  I remember Joan well, too.  I remember their Dad and Mom. Who knew that Jimmy and Joan had at least 8 aunts?  All of us kids growing up were set in our own context and never having any idea who the families we knew really were!

            The photograph was likely taken in 1931, and no doubt Boutin Studios produced it.
Top row: left to right: Florrie (Pimental), Joan's Dad Tony Castro, 
Mary (Medeiros) and Helen (DeSilvia).
Middle row: Agnes (Araujo) and Julia (Silvia).  
Bottom row: Grandfather Castro, Catherine (Tenikos), Elizabeth (Texeira), 
Madeline Castro and Grandmother Castro.
Catherine is the only child still living.

Are you with me in figuring that this family produced many of the families that we knew? That from families such as the Castros and the Souzas came our inherited strength of purpose and family values? This family, and my own, are only two examples.. A fascinating privilege to go back to our roots with this photograph. It just sets up greater yearning for more that will allow us to peek way back into the history of the Village.

Following up on my own Souza grandparents and their family, one sees the commonality of the larger family. In the Castro family, the preponderance of the feminine.  Imagine growing up within that cocoon. Nothing against uncles, but oh. the aunts!  No wonder the Village was a world unto its own, a place of such safety. With all those siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, 
in-laws it was built on family and friendship all the way! 

The Grandmoms, Moms and the Aunts were always there.  I had seven paternal aunts.  Along with our dear Fuller School teachers, we certainly had enough role models.

When we see a photograph like that of the Castro family and in the previous post of the Souza family, there is a wisp of a glimpse into the generation of our grandparents as they built the Village community. One sees strength there, although we have only echoes of stories. They were the movers and the shakers of the Village. What were their lives like?  They, in many cases, came to this country from simple backgrounds and those men and women made the Village what it was for all of us.

The Village "grew" its young within those woven relationships…strong.  Both young and old were part of those extended families that nourished us.

Much later, in 1985, I married…and lo and behold, my husband had 9 aunts!  What a treasure, as so many of my dear Aunts were gone by that time.  I nested into this new aunt-dom complete with a precious mother-in-law and felt right at home.  Always smiling, encouraging, those women.  Now they, too, are nearly all gone. Below is a photograph of my husband's maternal French Canadian grandparents with 13 of their living children ( from left oldest to right youngest) .
 There was one other child, the oldest, who died at age 19.

I have heard stories of their third floor dormitory in the family's three decker Fall River home.  Just a bit of imagination is needed to hear the laughter and chatter.

In looking at the statistics for this blog, it is remarkable in its growth.  I am still amazed.  There is a cord of nostalgia that is struck all over the world for stories.  Stories of our roots, of the values and safety nets provided by many of our families and in our case, by a Village.
Click on to the map on the right side of the blog and look at the countries
all over the world where viewers and readers originate.
Many of them are regular readers.
Readers of the stories of the extraordinary people who nourished us
in that little borough on School Street.  Readers who find echoes of their own stories.

                                Maternal Great Aunt Annie Fostin and friend, Winter St. in the 30's

To my Village

The past is a portal
a door to who we are.

We grasp hands, if only in memory,
hands that provided love, friendship, 
 hands that sheltered and guided us.

Down the years, parent to child
who became parent to another child
and on and on
from across an ocean to this piece of home
away from home.

Echoes of the sea, of song, of soft green hills
and Church bells
kept being heard in the soul
of those who came to a land unknown.

and made this our home.


Sandra Souza Pineault


  1. Another strong family from the village was the Semas'. The parents that had a farm on Winter Street before it becomes Longmeadow Road had 21 children. They lived on Floral Street. I believe they had three sets of twins. I still can remember how hard Grandmother Semas ( My children's Nana was a Semas)worked at home and never complained. She would be making bread from scratch with her bandana on. My then husband would help knead it for her.Grandpa Semas also ran the trash business for the city of Taunton. The cousins would regal us with funny stories about their Grandpa and Uncles working on the trucks. When my children grew up it was a wonderful gift having 2 sets of grandparents. We were not so lucky as children in that regard. I also remember that my son's Dad had like 50 first cousins. Amazing times.

    1. Yes, another great family. See earlier post, Kathy, for a history of that family as well as a wonderful photo of Nana Semas working her bread in the summer kitchen, sent by a grandson. Precious.