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, December 28, 2015


Just before Christmas a Village light went dark. There is little doubt, however, that it shines in a far better place.  At age 101 years of age,  School Street Village's  own Emma Andrade went to her rest. As she rarely rested prior to that it must have been quite a surprise.

As a friend and blogger, Mary Jane Fernino wrote:

                                                  " ...Emma. A force of nature
                                                     we all thought invincible
                                                      is at rest  after 101 eventful years.
                                                      Emma was the stuff of legends."

Emma died just before Christmas, quietly but in the midst of caroling, glitter and the color red. In her own fashion she went out of the world as she inhabited it - legendary. It is my honor to dedicate this post to her in hopes I can share the wonderful story of her life as it affected all who knew her.

The Village was known for its strong women. Yet Emma stood out.  Women today continually attempt to rise above, to be respected, to attain the heights. Emma did all of that while never leaving the Village.

This is a photo of Emma, taken in her very later years. I believe that it captures her essence -her sharp witty gaze, direct and true but always, always kind. The smile that was ever prepared to share or tell a funny story or just to cheer you up. When Emma spoke her words tingled with cheer and a kind of ringing that let you know you were in for a safe and happy good time. Her attitude in the photo is of a woman getting ready to hit the dance floor!

If you grew up in the Village  born in the 30's, 40's or 50's and someone said the name , Emma Rico \Andrade, her image would just pop right into your head.  That image is wrapped in a smile that lit up a room, a Village, and even a child's spirit.

That smile lit up my own spirit. I was a skinny, gawky teenager feeling my way to growing up with a great lack of self-confidence. One day I met Emma on the street in the Village and her words to me gave me such a dose of belief in myself that they became etched into my heart . Emma never had a daughter but it seemed she adopted the young daughters of the Village and cheered us on. Her niece shared that her joy was seeing the children of the Village do well with their lives.

Emma was a native born Villager, born Sept, 12, 1914, the fourth child of Portuguese immigrants: Frank and Pauline.  Like all the rest of us, she went to Fuller School as a child and eventually graduated from high school in 1930, voted the best athletic.  Until moving to Marian Manor, a Nursing Home in Taunton,  she never lived anywhere but in the Village.  She did, however, travel to many countries and to every state in the country.

She proved the description of being the most athletic at her high school graduation. As a teen she was a member of the Village girl's softball team. Rumor has it that they were very good, playing down on the fields near Ventura Grain on Longmeadow Rd. off School Street.  We can imagine she and her teammates looked like this. I found this photo on Pinterest, the car in the background pretty much dates it.

Emma proved her pep and athletic abilities far into her later years. I attended a family wedding where she, in her early 90's, was present. When a toe tapping dance number started  she jumped up, hoisted her skirts above her knees and begged other to join her on the dance floor. Vintage Emma!

Back even in the 30's and 40's and onward Emma was a vibrant and vital part of the Village. In her teens she volunteered to canvas the Village and nearby neighborhoods going door to door seeking donations to the American Heart Association, the Red Cross and United Way. She must have paved the way for us, I remember doing that as a teen myself.

Emma founded the Question Mark Club in the 50's in the Village where young women could get together. She stayed a member for over 65 years.  In those days there were more male associations than those for women.

At the age of 19 Emma was the first President of the Portuguese American Civic Club Auxiliary on School St.  She remained active there for 25 years.

In 1942, Emma married Aristides (Aris) Andrade.  I remember him,  He had a smile as big as Emma's. They had one son, Peter.  Below is Aris when he served as President of the P.T.A. at Fuller School. He is with our beloved Principal, Sophia Dupont. He was as quiet as Emma was energetic and like yin and yang they made a perfect couple. Emma would lose her dear husband in 1964 when he died suddenly of a cardiac condition.  Tragically, for Emma and their son, Peter, a high school senior then, and for their extended family, his death occurred one day apart from one of their young nieces, a mother of two small children.  They had a double funeral at St. Anthony's and there were so many cars, School Street was closed off.

Emma's faith and her ability to look outside herself and go on helped her to heal.
 She got up from her sorrow and went out and got involved.

St. Anthony's Catholic Church was the faith center of the Village and Emma was always at its heart.  She served on the Pastoral Council, the Holy Rosary Sodality, the St. Anthony's Feast Committee.  She would be a member of the Parish Centennial Committee, the Centennial Parish History Committee.   She was active in the Diocesan  Council of Catholic women,  elected President twice. By special appointment of the Bishop at that time, she was appointed on the Bishop's Pastoral Council and was recipient of the prestigious Marian Medal for exemplary service to her Parish.

She went on to serve as Chairperson for the Bishop's Charity Ball. She was once heard talking to the Bishop who chided her that she might be the first woman priest, Emma responded, she would rather be the first Bishop and take his job!

Emma was an active member of the Business and Women's Foundation society.  She was a member of the Quota Club, on the Board of Trustees of the Morton Hospital Corporation as well as the Old Colony Historical Society.

Emma had a heart as big as her spirit. Her niece recalls that her Aunt once took an early lunch from her work as an Assistant Clerk to Clerk Magistrate, William Grant to go to Fuller School. There she cheered her young niece on for her part in a Christmas play.

Perhaps my favorite story of Emma is that when a resident of Marian Manor she continued to "hold court" as it were.  She held her own "salon" serving a group of friends refreshments each Friday afternoon.  She would insist that the ginger ale be chilled to properly accompany the cookies and crackers and cheese that she set out.

One of this writer's joys was that early on when I was researching the history of the Village, I wrote to Emma asking if she would share her memories, particularly as to the small businesses in the Village.  She gathered together her Friday group (also from the Village). They put their heads together.  Soon after I received a very impressive large envelope with their findings.  Typewritten pages gave me all I had to know...and more.  

Tucked in at the end -  "there was a house ill repute " at the edge of the Village.  I imagined the laughter they must have enjoyed when they attempted to describe it.

I knew of the house but never of its nefarious purpose....the fact was proved out when I did further research.  Attached to the presentation was a card telling me that her son had written the note as she had broken her wrist when she fell from her walker.  I dare not ask what she may have been up to...

That following Christmas I received a greeting card with my address in shaky handwriting. It was from Emma and I felt so pleased that she remembered me.  Emma, still making people feel good about themselves.

She was very well read and a member of a book club at the time of her death. She was writing a paper on The Kennedys from a book she was reading and preparing to share it.  I think of my own mother. When she died there were unfinished crocheted handbags, gifts for friends.  Village women keep on going right to the end, When they move on to a better place they are probably still busy watching over all of us.

In September of 2014, Emma turned 100.   Many friends and relatives joined in the party at the Marian Manor.   She quipped silly jokes and stories and sang songs for her guests.

 She told hem;
" Now I want to thank all of you.  I can't stand and I can't walk 
but I can do everything else that's bad!" 

She added, 
"I am so glad you are here, and that you are making a lot of racket
she said, "I like the noise."  

After the singing of Happy Birthday, she issued 
another one liner,
 " It's time to stop kissing and start eating."
               I end this post with an excerpt from a Poem by Maya Angelou: Phenomenal Woman

"It's the fire in my eyes
 and the flash of my teeth
the swing in my waist
and the joy in my feet.
   I am a woman- phenomenally."

                                           Heaven is happy you are there, dear Emma!
But, we sure will miss you!



Narratives of the Village as shared with my by Arlene Gouveia

Taunton Daily Gazette: Obituary of Emma Andrade

Taunton Daily Gazette: : "Two Remarkable Taunton Women..."

Reminiscents of Her Aunt by Cynthia Mendes as shared with this writer. 

Saltwater Influences: a blog by Mary Jane Fernando



Wednesday, December 9, 2015


 I began the last post with the fact that we had celebrated Veteran's Day just the month before. A few days ago we remembered Pearl Harbor which ushered 
in U.S. involvement in W.W. II.

Today, the country faces a different threat and we look back at our heritage and our history for the answers to facing our future.  Just something to keep in mind as we read here of the history that helped shape who we are today.

Driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway one has to think about all the hard work that those young men in the C.C.C.'s did to fashion and shape the roads that give us such joy today.  That is true about so many locales throughout the country, that never would have been restored and we may take for granted.

A view of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
Photo:  Sandra Pineault

Young men from the ages of 18 to 25 years were eligible to apply to the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.'s).   Each work camp held around 200 men.  Later any Army veteran could apply.  The men worked 8 hours a day.  By the time the U.S. entered W.W. II more than 2.5 million men had served in more than 4,500 camps throughout the country.  

 On May 19th, 1933, Taunton had an initial quota of 75 men, most from E. Taunton, MA  who went to Fort Devens. MA.  They would be paid $1 a day to fight forest fires, beach erosion, develop state and national parks and help in national emergencies such as hurricanes and the like.  From 1933 to 1938 Taunton had 1,190 enrollees.  Over the years these young men sent back $16,000 back annually to their families.

Around 9,000 men a day were recruited in the country as a whole.  There soon were floating libraries for them: chaplains, radios, games, baseball, football and basketball. It was a great opportunity for further educational  endeavors, too.  My Dad, Frank Souza, learned to barber in the Camp he was in and though that was not his avocation, he always cut my kid brother Frank's hair. The photo below was taken in the side yard of 20 Blinn's Ct. in the Village, 1948.  My Uncle John "Bunny" watches and chats.Whatever Camp my father was in, he said it was very cold, and often 
when he started to shave someone he had to shave off the ice first...

My father was in a camp in Massachusetts. He tried to enlist in the Army but was 4F due to stomach ulcers.  It is interesting to note that many of the young men enlisting in the C.C.C.'s were malnourished and suffering from nutritional conditions.  One writer indicated that not only were they under nourished and under developed boys, but many of them did not know what it was to work. The C.C.C. offered them a healthful way of life among other positive things.  As far as we can recall our Dad may have been in a Camp in Pittsfield, MA. 

There is a possibility that my father is in this photograph, second row fourth from left. My Dad did say he was at a camp in Massachusetts and his posture really looks like him.

We do know that John Richard is in the first row and Matthew Wasylow as well (numbers 6 and 7 respectively - from the Nowak booklet). Maryan L. Nowak , a resident of Taunton researched and compiled many names of Taunton men who served in the C.C.C.  His was not an exhaustive list but it is a good one. His booklets were published in 2002 .

C.C.C. records have proved a boon for genealogists as there are many photographs such as the ones included in this post.  However, there are less photos of Massachusetts men than in other states.  Here, though, is a great one from a Camp in Chicopee, MA, clearly in the winter.

                         A photograph of one of the barracks of the Camp in Chickapee, MA.

                            White Pine Camp, Idaho, probably what all the camps looked like.

From the Village, these names and where they were stationed can be found in Nowak's booklet:  James Aleixo, Great Barrington, MA, Theodore Aleixo, Warren, NH, Joaquim Bernadino, Freetown, MA, Antone Cordeiro , Suncook, NH, and then in two camps on Colorado, Jos. Costa, East Wallingford, Vermont, Joseph Dias, Antone Mello, Jr, Danbury, NH, ,Joseph Nascinemtno, Freetown, MA., Manuel Silva, East Wallingford, Vermont, Albine Vierra, Wilmington, Vermont.

I have only skimmed the surface of this vast subject. If you have had someone in your family involved in the C.C.C. you can find a plethora of information.  Here are just some of the sources. State sites contain photographs in most cases.


A Buck A Day- Taunton men in the Civilian Conservation Corps 1933-1942. Find this booklet and another supplement booklet at the Bristol Country Historical Society.  There are many names of Taunton men here and a few photos.
Into the Woods: The First Year of the Civilian Conservation Corps: Joseph M. Speakman 
Find this online.
National Association of the Civilian Conservation Corps...Online.
MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation CCC. Online.
C.C.C. Legacy- Online. An incredible amount of information including photographs state by state.
"Hard Times Legacy": -, May 17, 2009
Elderweb- "1930: The Great Depression."
Taunton Daily Gazette: "Fall River: 1938: Rebounding from the Depression." May 21, 2014
Heritage Zen: C.C.C. in New Hampshire

A History of Taunton: William F. Hanna.

             Photographs from my own archives as well as from many of the sites listed above.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Last month here in the U.S.A. we celebrated Veteran's Day. The following incredible photograph taken after the U.S and Allies retook Paris shows the faces of these men whose road to get there was far from easy. There is a whole series about my Uncle Ziggy (right front row, second in from right) and my Aunt Alveda in site listed below the photo as well as those before and after it.

World War II has its own tale to tell.  But, prior to that event there is another
story.  It speaks of the resilience of this country and the leadership of a President faced with enormous problems.  It is about the young men of America and the history of the country itself,  the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps. It would become known as the C.C.C's.  In many ways the story helped to create the courageous spirit of the men we see in the above photograph. 

While in New England this past summer I made time to visit the
Bristol County Historical Society. Browsing through the shelves  I found two small booklets about the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Remembering my Dad had been part of the C.C.C's  I added the booklets to my treasures.  I figured I would do a little post one day on the subject.  Like anything else, the little booklets were only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  The subject was not only 
relevant to my family and the Village but to the country as a whole.

I was in up to my ears and learning every minute of my research.
Because the subject is so vast,  this is the first of a series,  the first being an introduction.

Often TV interviews demonstrate, our young do not know their history. I generalize but it still seems to woefully be the case.  Perhaps a member of your family was part of the C.C.C.'s  or perhaps you will just learn something fascinating about the resilience this country.  It was not always the divided and worrisome place it appears to be today.

This  dedication of this statue of  a  CCC worker took
place in the Freetown State Forest in Massachusetts in 2002.
Freetown Forest is between Taunton and Fall River.  It is noteworthy for
the fact that is considered by many to be haunted....

 Alongside the statue in the photograph below is my nephew Peter Nascimento.
Peter has two grandfathers who served in the CCC: Frank Souza, my father
and Joe Nascimento, Peter's other grandfather. both of them
Village boys. Peter has his own story of courage to tell, but right
now he is listening to this one and finding one more reason why he 
loved those two grandfathers so very much.

The tale of the C.C.C is a fascinating one.

The Village played a part in this National endeavor.  Faced with the same
extremes of a debilitating Depression beginning in 1929  people in the Village ,as always, helped each other. We read earlier that the Portuguese American Civic Club on School Street was founded to help families in the Village that could not make ends meet.

The P.A.C.C. , as it is still called, helped its members find employment on many levels, including the federal.  They likely helped them, including my Dad and others, to get into the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Keep in mind the national income was cut in half and a quarter of the work force in America was unemployed.  I am proud that my Village stood up and helped its people.  

 Soup lines and queues for employment snaked throughout the country.  In Washington D.C. you can find the impressive memorial to FDR remembering those lines.  My husband got into the spirit of the moving monument by standing at the end of the line of men whose posture speaks volumes.

In 1927 my Grandfather Souza, age 42 years, drowned leaving behind my Grandmother and seven children in the little house on School Street.  When 1929 rolled around and the Depression started it must have hit them like a bolt of lightening.  My grandfather had been a successful businessman and suddenly the life of that family was turned upside down. 

In the late 20's  mill owners in Taunton with the means to moved south.  The textile industry was not as strong as before. One reason is that women's fashions had changed.  As shorter skirts became vogue material for their clothing changed from 19 1/2 yards in 1913 to 7 yards in 1928.  Six Taunton mills closed and the job situation went from employing 235,000 in 1923 to 96,000 in 1932 .

From 178 mills in Massachusetts, the number dropped to 57.

In 1932  20 tenement houses built on Middleboro Ave to house mill workers were auctioned off for $5, 850. a per  house total of $142. 50.
It was estimated that in those years there were people near starvation in Taunton.

The P.A.C.C. gave priority to those families most in need in the Village.

Here is an interesting aside....did you know?
Here is a bit of history I bet you did not know- I surely did not.  When FDR ran 
for President in 1932, William Foster was the Presidential nominee for the
 Communist party in that election. His vote was minuscule. 
 However, he was  born in Taunton ,MA in February of 1881!

The plaque at the base of the statue is Freetown, MA

The story of the C.C.C. is amazing on many levels. The first is its speed of inception. In our time, there is deepening stagnation of ideas and solutions to so many problems.  
Not back then. "Shovel Ready" meant something in FDR's time.

March 9, 1933- mere weeks after taking office, FDR ordered his senior staff to draw up a plan to put 500,000 men to work.

March 21 - a modest proposal for 250,000 jobs was sent to Congress.

March 31- Congress approved and signed into law the plan giving broad discretionary               authority to the President for setting up the "Emergency Conservation 
Work Program." It got its new name in 1937.

Incredibly, the C.C.C. was successfully supervised by four Cabinet Departments: the War Dept for housing administration and housing and discipline. The Departments of Agriculture and the Interior planned and organized work and the Department of Labor selected and enrolled applicants via state and local relief departments.

Here is an interesting document.  FDR tried to get the amount of money 
it would cost per day perworker down from $1.92 per day.  

Boom!  "Bringing an army of unemployed into healthful surroundings," Roosevelt argued, "would help eliminate the threats to social liberty that enforced idleness had created."  Keep in mind that this was not a welfare program it was a WORK PROGRAM.

None too soon.  

Above: FDR visiting a C.C.C Camp in 1933. Skyland, Virginia.

Below are some of the boys from Taunton who were in the C.C.C.'s
 taken March 12, 1937. Location unknown.
Front Row center: Joseph Murphy, Back Row: Louis Robino.
Perhaps you recognize others. There are none of the
Village boys that I have found. I did find their names
and they will be in the next post.

Lots more to come!

Sources: I will list sources in the next post.