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.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving U.S.A.

It is also a thanksgiving wish to all of our readers wherever they may be,

This is a Saturday Evening Post illustration for Nov. 25, 1922.

Thanksgiving in the Village back then and Thanksgiving today in 2014
remains the same in spirit.  The times are different, more complicated and challenging.
Families may be spread around the country or even around the globe.

But, hopefully, you 
and  yours can be together, if only on Skype  
or somewhere on the Internet.

Friday, November 21, 2014


It is my sad task to write of the passing of Charles Crowley last evening.  Recently, I wrote about
him and his incredible dedication and work in researching and sharing the history
of Taunton.  He and I had been emailing back and forth, he wrote that he liked what I wrote.
Coming from Charles that meant a great deal to me.

Here he is sharing his tales of those buried in Taunton Cemeteries, a font
of history.  I remind everyone that Charles never charged for his presentations.

Charles was keeper of the truth about the history of Taunton.
Big and small, facts of its history were a source of fascination for him, 
His joy was to share with others.

It is so good to know that all of the Olde Time Taunton television
programs are there on You Tube in perpetuity. That is his lasting gift to us.

Rest in peace, Charles, you will not be forgotten. 
This blogger will remain
in gratitude that such a man lived and gave to the city he loved and to all of us.

Photo thanks to David Pimental

Monday, November 17, 2014


As I ponder another post topic, it occurs to me that I have never deeply explored what it means to me to have grown up in the School Street Village in Taunton, MA,  Why that little approximately one square mile is such a part of my heart. I have posted photos and stories but this one is special.
This one goes deeper.

Yes, the photos we share dip back into those days, those wonderful dear folk that peopled that place.  But, what about way down where the tiniest of memories crowd among all the others. Remembering the dress I wore when I recalled that marble game in the Fuller School playground. The feeling of exultation when I was chosen in the game of Red Rover ,Red Rover!  The whoosh of air and the sense of taking off in flight when your swing went as high as it could...and all was possible

Pinterest photo

 The camaraderie that tightly bound us. even as little children, goes on to this day even when the storms and fears and loneliness of old age roam around us.

When we gather, even just two of us, sometimes storytelling is such that we end up laughing so hard it is hard to catch one's breath.    Remember when....remember when...?

Remember Broadway in the 50's  as it looked when we were children and teens.
Mulhern's  Pharmacy, the cars we rode in...  

Photo courtesy of Charles Crowley( see his Facebook page)

This beauty below is from a time I do not recall yet it does not take much to see it in my imagination. This was the corner of Weir Street and the Green probably sometime in the 40's . Some type of Parade when parades meant something.  I do recall that in my youth there was another  pharmacy, Dunnington's, on that corner, though not so large, I do not think.

Below, Main Street in 1939.  Imagine: the ever present New York Lace Store!  That store has weathered the years and is still in Taunton at that same spot today, 2014!  It would be great to research that downtown mainstay.   I believe this photo is thanks to Steve Koska.

These photos are meant to tickle your memories or if you did not grow up in the fair city of Taunton, to try to recall the downtowns of your past.  This blogger would welcome any of your photos in this regard.

We humans have whole lifetimes of memories that we can store deep inside. Amazingly, most of us can retrieve them from our immense capacity!  No wonder they come trickling up unbidden. You know how that goes?  One must capture them,  let them flow and link on to others.  The trick is to let the joy bubble up.  When you grew up in the Village, they usually are the bubbling variety, I assure you.  Too often we let computers replace our memories and they grew hazy.

Above, late cousin Barry's first birthday in the 50's, a party loaded with cousins and aunts.
On Blinn's Court off School St. in the Village.   Barry is being
held by his Mom.

Computers can help, but not replace.  That is the sadness of dementia for so many, that they are robbed of those memories.  I pray that perhaps, though we do not know it, they still strengthen them. The first friend I knew as a child is now in that darkness.

This is a precious photo of my first friend on School St. where we both were born. 
This photo is from my archives.  Somehow my mother saved this all those years.  
It was probably taken around 1945.  It is as cloudy as the years that have passed.
But, it is clear in my heart. This was taken in the backyard victory garden of her family,
 next door to where we lived for a time.

Sometimes photos tug on your heart strings and make you sad to know you can no longer reach out.
Yet, I believe that somehow still reaching out touches somewhere with love.

I was her Maid of Honor way back when ( we bought her gown and my dress at NY Lace Store).  Now every few months I send her a card. No matter that she does not remember.  Yet her husband one day said my name to her, she thought a moment and said....."wedding"...   It gave my heart such comfort to hear that.  I have three friends total in her category.  I keep on sending my little cards reminding them and their families that I do not forget.

The treasures of growing up are locked inside of us.  The events, the history of our time help us to access what lies beneath.  What lies beneath for me is rock solid love and safety.  As a high schooler I babysat after school and did not head home til around 6 p..m.  In the winter months it was dark.  Alone I shuffled my feet through the piles of leaves along Dauphin's fence.  When I could see 184 School St. it was the golden light of the front window that welcomed me.  I knew it was warm inside, busy with children's voices, and the smell of another wonderful Mom dinner.  Home.

During those days, I promised myself I would never leave Taunton.  Well, that sure did not happen except for a brief few years.  I wandered to far off places and experienced a life far removed from that little house.  That is why now I realize that I never did leave, neither the Village or the Taunton I knew growing up. It still inspires me, it still makes me feel safe.  It still teaches me what a real community offers the people it shelters.

Photos help, stories help.  Fingering the pages of my scrapbooks or going through my iPhoto albums all takes me back.  It takes me back to see the photos Charles Crowley posts or the memories shared by Arlene Gouveia.   Precious are the leaves of our lives stored in these photos and stories.


To further enhance this post click to my earlier posts  below.  
They will reference the reasons I began this blog.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Some time ago we sang the praises of Arlene Rose Gouveia, Village historian, and one of the prime movers of this Blog.

Another Taunton historian must be honored and is in a class all his own.  Charles Crowley is a mistro of Taunton historical lore and much more.  The history and life of Taunton runs in his blood. He has dug into her history, her famous sons and daughters ,and those not so famous, as well as the events that shaped her.  Through photographs and facts large and small a historian only whets his appetite on each discovered treasure.  We are the recipients and are constantly being surprised and delighted by new wonders uncovered.

A renaissance man, Charles has served his beloved Taunton in public service for at least 34 years and longer  as its memory keeper.   He has served on the Historical Commission.  An author and noted speaker,  he was elected Mayor for a four year term in 2007. For  many years he served on the City Council and in many other capacities.  He has preserved the history of Taunton keeping it alive for all of us.  We owe him a great deal of gratitude.  I can only touch on his contributions which I will further describe later in this post.

Bloggers like myself can not thank such people enough.  All of us are trying to find and study  our roots, not only those of our families but of the place we called home as children.  There is ever more to learn.  The Village did not exist in a vacuum, its greater surroundings also made it what it was. Charles reminds us that those of us who were born and grew up in the Village travelled in the footsteps of so many who came before.

 Charles also very frequently posts precious photos of the bygone times of our fair city.  You will find these on Olde Tyme Taunton  Charles ' Facebook page.  It is this Facebook Village photograph from Charles' archives appearing last week that prompted me to write this post.

Above: Dominic and Mary Gebeau and Mary Lynch
Source: Olde Tyme Taunton Facebook Page.

If you are a School St. Village kid, as I was, you are always on the look-out among Charles' goodies for School St. lore. Above is the gem that last week showed up on the Olde Tyme Taunton Facebook page which is Charles' page.

It contained no point of recognition for me even though it is a photo from a store  right on the corner of Blinn's Court and School St., specifically 187 School St. in the Village.  Our family lived at 20 Blinn's Court and then at the family homestead, 184 School Street.  This couple above, Mary ( 1860-1940) and Dominic Gebeau (1856-1933) lived at that 187 address and had a neighborhood store on the first floor. To orient those of my day (I was born in 1940) that house later became the home of John and Rosie Serras. Ironically, John and Rosie had a neighborhood store one house down from the P.A.C.C. not far from 187. I well remember them walking to their store which they operated in the 50's , and back each morning and late afternoon. It is the Serras store that I was familiar with as a child.

 The Gebeau's (not a Portuguese name) were gone by 1940. Arlene Rose Gouveia remembers them, especially Mary whom she says was a lovely, kind woman. See the gas light at the upper left of the photo?  Apparently Mary kept them even when electricity came along. The store sold canned goods, tobacco, candy and other such sundries. Arlene also remembers that Mary went to 6 a.m. Mass each day, 7 days a week.  The photo is a beautiful period peace. The young lady behind the counter is identified by Mary Lynch.

If you would like to read once more (or for the first time in many cases) the posts about the Village Economy, especially the neighborhood Mom and Pop stores of which there were many, go to my previous posts in 2012:

More About Charles Crowley

Left to right, Bob Jacobs, TCAM TV Board President, Dr. Mark Hanna, historian,
 and Charles Crowley, Internet News photo in 2012.

One of the greatest historical contributions made by Charles Crowley are his local television programs on Old Tyme Taunton .  Charles celebrated the 300th episode in Jan. 2012. The program began in 1998 and has become a mainstay of local television in Taunton ever since. It can be seen on Channel 15 for Comcast and Channel 22 for Verizon at 8 a.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. Sundays.

 In the wonderful technical time we live in, you can many of these programs on You Tube. This one is about the history of School Street. I invite you to sit back and enjoy it. This is perfect for me, since I now live far from Taunton.

I can assure you  that you will be seeing more photographs and You Tube episodes from Charles on my future posts. They are an unending source of pictorial history for all of us.  Charles often offers tours of local sites, such as historical cemeteries, etc. He often does public presentations on Taunton history and never charges for these events.  As I stated earlier...Charles is a true renaissance man.


Note: Charles Crowley authored A Pictorial History ofTaunton in 2004. More than 300 historical photographs "providing a snapshot of the loves of those that came before us." It can be purchased on Amazon or at Pacheco's Jewelry and Gifts, 20 Taunton Green in Taunton.