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.

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.

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