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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Happy New Year to each and all!

In 2015 this blog will continue to tell our stories. The most exciting thing 
about the storytelling here with the naming of people and places is that we make them
live once again.  Our hearts and minds can know that there is a place to put them, 
to share them, to keep them safe and even to add to them. 

There are some lined up already but I welcome more and more....

Here is another architectural story that we have just
 bid farewell .

This post is dedicated to those incredible historic architectural
structures lost to the Taunton landscape as well as those of so many other towns and cities.

Progress? Parking lots? Short term vision?
So many reasons.  Do you know that the magnificent mansions
in Newport almost met that fate as well?  Only the Newport
Preservation Society saved them....and finances, of course.

                                                 "Final Curtain Call for the Star Theatre"
                                            with permission of Frank C. Grace, photographer.
                                                                    Trig Photography

On April 12, 2014, photographer Frank C. Grace of Trig Photography was invited to have a last look at the Star Theatre on Main St. in downtown Taunton.  He took this magnificent photograph of the dying icon. There are so few photos of the Theatre making this even more precious. Thank you, Frank, for your willingness to share with us.

After years of sparring and neglect the Star Theatre has finally fallen to the wrecking ball.  In spite of those wishing otherwise, it joins other  magnificent edifices who have not found new life. This one is now gone forever, its history buried beneath the ignominious rubble now swept away.

                             History is  a whiff of eternity, delicate and quickly gone.

 Just next to Taunton Lace Store we see the edifice of the Leanard building still bearing an old ad.

Below we see the front of the theatre building.  
                                         The final demolition started on Monday, Dec. 15th.
                   In a photograph offered by David Pimental Jr. of Taunton,
            we see the top two stories that housed the Theatre going first.

The Star Theatre's descendants: the Park, The Strand, the State,  elegant in their architecture and wrapped in our memories met that wrecking ball years ago. Any of these edifices could have meant  a greater renewal for the downtown area. The other day, for no reason, up into the front of my memory came a moment, as fresh as it was then when I was a child.  I was coming out of the seating area into the lobby,  Underfoot was lovely deep red carpet. I remember feeling the elegance, the quiet. The magic as I looked up the carpeted red stairs that led majestically up to the balcony(I was too young to know yet what that magic meant to teenagers!).

True, you and I never saw a performance at the Star. As part of the Taunton Art Association I once exhibited my paintings there as we tried to raise awareness of the historical theatre. What a task for our imaginations.  Our grandparents must have enjoyed performances here, live and on film. Already the structure was delicate and we were not allowed to wander around.  Maybe there were echoes of long ago...but I never researched it until now.


The Star Theatre opened in 1911and is listed as having 450 seats.  The Leonard Block building had been built in the late 1870. This photo is taken from a diaganel angle. The building with the sign Goldstein houses the Star Theatre.

 The Star did not survive the talkies, it closed in 1929.  BUT, it probably aired the first full length film ever to be shown in the U.S., Dante's Inferno in 1911. Prior to this movie producers did not think people would sit for an hour through a full feature film. Many films were shown as serials over a month or two.

 The Star was listed as having "shows" daily. Take a look at the film "Dante's Inferno "restored in 2004 and feel like your grandparents may have felt.  My grandparents were already in this country when this film appeared.  Maybe?  Keep in mind, full length then was not full length now.

                                                    YouTube:Dante's Inferno original film

There would have been concerts and vaudeville acts up there on the second and third floors of the building.  Once closed, the Star lingered like a dying ballerina, alone surrounded by memories of her glory days.  Hushed as she listened to echos of laughter, maybe even tears and surely of the tinkling piano that accompanied those silent pictures.


       Goodbye, Lady Star.  I do not wish to know what will be built in your place. You
      offered entertainment and escape for Tauntonians in your own era. 
For that we owe you at least our gratitude.


                                                                   Post Sources

                                     Frank C. Grace Photography Facebook page: 

a great article of early movie history.

                 For my past blog posts about the Star Theatre's offspring see the links below.




Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Evening Post
1927 issue

into each and every corner in all lands.

My deep thanks and appreciation for all
who have assisted in presenting this blog
and those who keep me going with encouragement
and sharing.

Have a merry and safe Christmas.
Dream of those we enjoyed so long ago.

To share, to speak or write names of those long gone,
to remember. 
Each time we do that the angels must ring bells
to let them know they are still here
in our hearts and gratitude.

This is why this blog exists.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


  A medley of Village Christmas memories....ah, they soothe the soul.  We are bombarded with ads and wants and spaced out Christmas shopping.  I hope that you can play this video as you read this. It is a long video but I am going to keep it going.

                                             ...and remember, no matter where you grew up.

I am letting the music slow me down.  My mind and spirit focused lets me reach way back into memory and feel those far off Christmas years all over again.  The silence of the Village (not many cars remember?), the snow snapping under our feet, hot cocoa for when we came in from building snow forts or sledding down Blinn's Court in a rush of colored jackets and stocking caps. Pulling your wooden sled back up the hill.  Your breath coming out all frozen with laughter warming you up.  Clusters of snow clinging to hair and woolen clothing.  But, laughter and screeching as your sled picked up steam,  My friends, my family.  Frozen in time in the Christmas card of my memory.

Nearly every Village Portuguese home had a Creche in prominent place.  My mother and my Aunt Eleanor took us out to the woods each year at the edges of the Village to gather greens and mosses for the best Creche ever.  Those women who lit up our lives, not just at Christmas but all the years of our childhood and beyond to this day.

My sister Kathy and I often sat at the piano and sang together, especially at Christmas time
I took piano lessons and plunked along.  My mother loved to hear us sing.  Our piano
looked just like this....

Christmas carols and religious decoration were part of our childhood.  The Taunton Green always had a focus of what Christmas is really about.  There seemed always to be snow, usually soft and kind.
Christmas was a time like no other.  It was everywhere: downtown, in our schools, in our Village and in our homes.  It was a lesson in love, in sacrifice as you saved your pennies for presents for your parents. If you were very young, still at Fuller School, you made your own presents and gave them with great pride.  It was about giving and worship and celebration.


As we grew, the festivities and religious meaning of Christmas stayed with us.  I am no longer a child, of course, far from it.  I am a silver haired senior.  But, I remember everything about my Christmases.

 As teenagers Christmas changed. We started a new tradition.  A group of teens that I and my sister Kathy hung out with joined together for Christmas caroling.


Our wonderful mother, Angi Souza, piled us all into the back of my Dad's company pickup and off we went around the Village, singing carols all the way in the cold snowy evening.  We would go to our family homes.  I especially remember the Silvia home down around 237 School Street, Pat and Joanne's home. Mrs. Silvia always had cocoa and refreshments waiting for us.  Midnight Christmas Eve this group went to Mass and were surrounded by most of the Village. Then afterwards my Mom awaited us with a big breakfast-all of us- when we returned to 184 School Street. My Mom's cooking abilities were legendary. One member of our group was known to eat one of her pies all by himself!  

Midnight Mass was glowing and bright.  St. Anthony's in all of it's beauty shone like no other time.
The choir would make Ebenezer himself soften.  We were warm inside and outside. Friendship did that, family did that, the holy day itself did that.

Christmas in the Village

In these times of global uncertainty, of growing older and less energetic
the Christmases of yesteryear bind us once again in the liveliness and meaning of those times.
Times of simplicity and greater meaning.

I wish each and all a dear and wonderful Christmas.
May you not be lonely.  But,if you are, harken back, for somewhere there
must be a Christmas memory or two to savor.

Not everyone grew up in our Village, but I hope these
memories have cheered you.


  Sandra Souza Pineault

My past Christmas in the Village blogs are below if you would like to read them.
 This is the third Christmas for this blog and still
the memories come, well maybe with a repeat now and then.  

After all, I am a silver haired blogger.


12/2/13 Memories Dance Like Sugar Plums....

12/11/13 One Hundred Years of Lighting Up Christmas

                                                        12/16/13  Away in a Manger