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, April 4, 2014


Thank you to all who responded so favorably to our first Vintage Wedding Post.  It was a delight to write.  Here now is the second part.

In researching the history of weddings, I came upon this photo on Pinterest.  Notice the clergyman in this photo?  Did you know that clergy were not present at weddings until after the 15th Century when it was degreed at the Council of Trent?  Prior to that a simple." will you marry me? and "yes" was enough.  If a priest was there, it was only for a blessing.

Also in this photo: shoes tied to the bumper was thought of as a symbol of authority and possession. Taking the bride's shoes meant that she would not run away.

                          This photo was probably taken in the 20's from the look of the cars.

But, back to our Village history.

Below are Mr. and Mrs. Morien Costa (Mary Rose) for their wedding which took
place in 1927.  Note the "Merry Widow" hat which we will see in many wedding photos.
Also, her neckline is a departure from earlier gowns.  After 1910, wedding gowns took on a more silhouette streamlined look.  Changes could be seen as the Sufrogette movement started, too.
We could certainly say that this is a more "modern" bride.

She has a huge bouquet: earlier in history what she might have carried, as we said early on,  might have highlighted these symbols:

*dill- lusty
*orange blossoms- happiness and fertility

Now, a very special photo.  Here are Aelene Gouveia's parents: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rose (Mary Perry). This is special for me because I knew these two people and remember them.  The marriage took place at St. Anthony's Church in 1929.   

Here again, we see on the Maid of Honor that Merry widow hat and the fluffy neckline.
The bride's veil is more voluminous and is like a train.  The groom and best man are
wearing tuxedos.  It is said that before Teddy Roosevelt wore one at at his wedding
grooms simply wore their best suit.

Here are Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Amaral (Ida Silvia) in 1931. Ida was the sister of
Manny Silvia of the band: The Top Hatters.
This is noteworthy for me as Manny was my father's partner in Souza Electric on School St.
Also, years and years later, after Manny and his wife had passed on, I purchased their
little red house on 12 Ashland St.  I found a printing plate of the Top Hatters in a closet.
I wonder if Manny and the boys played at this wedding.

This lovely bride we see wearing satin, a change once again.  Her headpiece is a tight fitting
cloche, of the '20's style.  Here the gown is getting longer again. She has gloves, too. Her veil is flowing around her feet.

From an ad in the Anchor newspaper.  Sorry for the blur.

Here a lovely bride with the cloche hat once more.  Mr. and Mrs. John Veida,
relatives of Arlene.  Wedding took place in Providence in 1931.
Sadly, pneumonia took the groom shortly thereafter, 

Another couple I recognize a bit.  This is Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sylvia (Anna Brazil).
Wedding at St. Anthony's in 1932.  Anna, if I recall, was always called Anna Brazil 
even after her wedding.  They were the parents of friends Joanne and Pat Sylvia 
and lived just beyond Braga Square.
The Village folk loved nicknames.  One of my aunt's was Joe's Mary
to differentiate her from a sister-in-law also named Mary and so forth.  

Anna's veil is even grander and her cloche hat simpler.  

And here below is that sister-in-law: Mary Bernandino, my paternal Aunt with her husband 
 John Bernadino in 1933. Both were of the School Street Village. My Uncle Joe (his wife was Joe's Mary), her brother, as Best Man.  Maid of Honor is Mary Costa.  Mary later owned and operated the Taunton Flower Studio.

In the 19020's and 30's weddings turned into big business,  Mary Costa benefited as weddings would have been a large part of her business. When I married in 1985, I had them do my flowers, and School St. Bakery, my cake.

Did you know that once the wedding cake was thrown in pieces at the bride, until a baker in Roman days complained of the waste of his confections?

Mary's gown here is long and more elaborate.  It appears both she and her Maid of Honor
wore satin. Mary Costa has only a little pill box of a headpiece. The bride's neckline as well as her Maid of Honors are heading south a little more.

Our last photograph for this post will catapult us into a new wedding style era.
Here are my Aunt Eleanor Costa, her new husband, John (Bunny)Souza, my 
paternal Uncle, and her sister, Alvera Costa and new husband, Arthur Marshall.
Of all of our photos, this is the only one of a double wedding.

Full on, the entire wedding party is in smiles. The women have simple headdresses with enormous veils and trains for their gowns.  Short sleeves, smaller bouquets and demure necklines.

Remember the practice, at least in the Village, of putting a rosary on the clothesline the might before the wedding to assure good weather?  Judging by these beautiful smiles, it worked.

My Aunt Eleanor loved this song and I share it with you
until our next Post of Village Wedding Bells: Part III

Stay Tuned….

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