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Mary Ferreira Santos - Life in Fall River 1904-1940’s

Interview by J. Gary Fox of Mary Ferreira Santos on October 30, 1995

Location: Her home at 29 Ash Street Fall River, MA

Mary was born February 17, 1904 and was a next door neighbor of the John Leo Morgan and William Connell families.

She was 91 at the time of the interview. She is a short, vibrant, energetic women. Her recall of incidences, dates, and locations was amazing. While she did not have detailed knowledge of the Morgan family, she vividly remembered life on Ash Street and her work in the Mills. Her story does provide the setting for the Morgan family in the early 1900’s.


  1. This is an interview with Mary Ferreira Santos.

    G.    When were you born?

    M . February seventeenth, nineteen hundred and four.

  1. My mother was born in 1909, so you would have been five years older than she was. Some of the things you told me yesterday, I’ll have to ask you to repeat for this recording. Tell me a little bit about your life here and when you went to work in the mills at at fourteen How did that occur? Did your father tell you had to work?

  1. Oh, that was a must. That was a must! Almost all of the people, especially the Portuguese people and the French and the Irish…as soon as you were fourteen years old, you had to go to work.

  1. Everybody understood that?

  1. Everyone was the same. Living was just hand to mouth.. hand to mouth. Everybody had a little piece of the yard for a garden. They had to grow anything that was edible… and fruit trees. Most every yard had a fruit tree…pears, apples, peaches, grapes… whatever, because there was no money to buy them.

  1. You said there was more space here at the time you grew up.

  1. Oh, yes, because there were no houses. On South Beacon Street, which is the one below Ash Street, there were no houses at all. On the corner there, there was only a little grocery store which belonged to Gus Hall.

He lived in Westport and he used to come every day with a horse and wagon and bring fresh vegetables from his farm to sell. All along the street it was all meadow, except on the corner here, there was one house.. one house. On Sprague Street, there were no houses there, no houses at all. That was all meadow. In fact, it was so open, we used to go crazy when the circus was coming to town. That was a treat for us. They had the whole circus, because they had plenty of room.

  1. What kind of circus was it.

  1. Barnum and Bailey. On the corner of South Beacon Street, they opened the fire hydrants and had big troughs so the animals could drink water early in the morning. We lived in the little cottage over there (see map), our bedroom was upstairs, and we had small windows. We would be up at five o’clock to see the animals drink water.

  1. You were a little girl then?

  1. Oh, course… I would say I was four or five or six years old… about that time. That was our biggest event. In fact, one year the circus was so big that they made a big parade in the city. They closed all the schools and all the mills… everybody was let out to go see the parade. I couldn’t tell you how old I was then, but it was quite a thing… quite a thing. But we never had anything else.

    G. You told me you used the park … was it called the Kennedy Park?

  1. We used to call it the South Park ... that was the South Park. That was all open. There wasn’t a thing there except the pond which was always filled with water. There was nothing else in that park. The kids could play… and when it was wintertime, they had a great time sliding down those hills.

  1. It looks pretty steep up here since it drops right down to the bay.

  1. All the way down to the bottom. Down the bottom of the park, off Bay Street, they had a beautiful fountain and a big pool. They used to have pollywogs in there. It was all weeping willow trees and the grass was like velvet. No kids played there. They didn’t have to be told, they knew that was off limits. Just beautiful. So they had the whole park. Now they have a tennis court, a pool… what-not…

  1. It’s much more crowded. You said the trolley ran down…

  1. Yes, along Bay Street. Five cents.

  1. Where did it end?

   M.   It went down to the end of the line. As soon as it hit Tiverton, it would turn         around and come back this way.Yes, they had the trolley cars and I went on them a few times. The fare was five cents and if you wanted a transfer, you didn’t have to pay anything… you could go anywhere with that in the city.   

  1. That was a lot of money for the time.

  1. Yes, for sure. When I worked at Stafford Mills at Stafford Square, my mother couldn’t afford to give me five cents to ride on the cars. I had to walk. I’d leave my house at five-thirty in the morning to get to work at six-thirty.

  1. Then you would work to twelve-thirty?

  1. To twelve-thirty and then we would have dinner to one. One hour. (?) Then we worked to five-thirty and then we would come home.

  1. How did you feel about that…. because you didn’t have much time?

  1. I never saw the light of day…only at work. I went out in the dark and came home in the dark.

  1. Did you think anything of it at the time?

  1. No. I had to do it, everybody had to do the same. I had a dinner pail…everybody had them at the time. A dinner pail. The little plate in the top was for pastry if you had any. In the center you had your food, what ever there was. And then you had your tea or coffee or whatever you had to drink. That was it. Many a time, many a time, about eight o’clock in the morning, I would be so hungry, I would eat everything I had and I had nothing more to eat the rest of the day.

  1. And you brought the pail with you then?

  1. Oh, yes.

  1. Your father didn’t work there?

  1. Oh, no. My father never worked in a cotton mill, he worked in a hat shop. And many a time in the wintertime, I would fall in a drift of snow and would have to wait for someone to yank me out. You know, I’m four foot eleven, you can imagine how tall I was when I was fourteen. (Laughs)  The thing with that … was ..poor thinking, because there was so many cotton mills around here. Why did I have to go up to the Flint? Because one of the girls who used to live on South Hammond, used to work there and she was the one who got me the job, so I had to go with her.

  1. How do you get a job?

  1. You go to the floor of what ever you are interested in doing… the first floor in the mill was usually the weavers. The second floor was called the Card Room… that’s where I worked. The third floor… the next floor… was the spinning room and the top floor was the finishing of the work… the spool tenders and the warp tenders. So, you go in and you stand in the door. The boss would come around and look and see if all the people were at their jobs, every women had two machines to run.. and, if he needed somebody he come to the door and he say,

        "What do know how to do?".

        When I started, I said, "I don’t know anything, but I’d like to learn."

        He said, "OK, come out with me, I’m going to teach you how to doff"

That was the first thing…. When the spools were full, we had to take the flyers off and take the spools out, put the empty bobbins on, piece up the yarn again, and be ready to start off again. They had three girls doing that, … it was not done every hour. The first row of machines… they were ready for doffing … we would work there. The second one wasn’t ready yet for a couple of hours…whoever was ready would call us. They’d had to holler, because the machines made so much noise. That’s why I wear a hearing aid …because of the loudness of the mill. I worked in the mills for twenty-one years. They would call and we’d go to the next one. When there wasn’t any, we would just sit there.

 I was interested… I liked what I was doing and I used to help the ladies who ran the machines… because I was learning. So, when I got to about fifteen years old, I was able to run the machines myself. You had no limit on the age to run the machine if you knew how. It took a while to learn how to run the whole thing.

  1. It was a complicated machine ... somewhat dangerous since everything is moving.

  1. It was going all the time, going all the time. Like I said, there were mills around here and why I went traveled so far. After quite some time, I did get a job in the Connecticut Mill … down the bottom of Bay Street. It’s all knocked down now. That was one of the finest …they used to make the finest cloth there. I worked there for quite a long time.

  1. When you got hired did you have to fill out papers…

  1. No, no.

  1. How did you get paid then?

  1. Envelope, it came in an envelope. And you didn’t dare open that envelope before you brought it home. That envelope wasn’t to be touched and nobody did… nobody did….

  1. Did you get an allowance?

  1. Nothing! Never! My mother bought whatever I needed. When I needed shoes, she’d buy them. Some times I would have to wait until the boys got theirs, because they were worse off than me… and many a time I wore hand-me-down shoes. Neighbors used to give them to me. High heel shoes… my father took them to the cobbler and he would cut the heels off. And then I would wear them. When you wear a high heel shoe after you cut the heel down, the front is up like this. But that didn’t matter, I had a pair of shoes on my feet.

  1. Some of the boys didn’t wear shoes in the mills?

  1. Yes, it was a long time ago. I was very young when they used to go bare-footed to school. Then they started to make changes and that wasn’t allowed anymore.

  1. Were you part of a union?

  1. No, there was no such thing.

  1. It came in later?

  1. Oh, long, long after. Say around 1934 or 35. That’s when they started to unionize the cotton mills. There were strikes galore. Oh my God, it was terrible. That was when the union started to come in because of the pay we were getting.

  1. What did the supervisor do?

  1. He just walked around to see if those machines were going.

  1. Was that considered a good job?

  1. Oh, yes. If you were the boss in a cotton room, you were something. It took a long time to get there. You had to know all those machines… how they ran…. and to see that those machines were in production all the time. When you got to the second step of running the machines on your own …they had a little clock on the end, and that used to determine how long you kept those machines going. That’s what they based your pay on.

  1. If you fell below… they took the money out?

  1. You got less pay.

  1. If it went above, did you get more?

  1. If it kept going longer, the clock would make you more.

  1. How were the bosses?

  1. They were all right. They never bothered you. No, no. I never had a trouble with anyone.

  1. Nobody ever yelled at the workers?

  1. No, no. No there wasn’t any of that at all. Then I worked at that place on Gold Mills Avenue, it was called Sanford Yarn. I did the same thing there. That was were I actually learned enough to have a pair of machines of my own. I was about seventeen years old then.

  1. Did you see any accidents in the mill because of the machinery.

  1. No. Of all the years I worked in the cotton mills, there was only one problem … a girl in a room where I worked.. she got her dress skirt caught in the gears.

  1. Did it kill her?

  1. No, no.. she just got scratched because it drew her towards the gears. Before she could stop the machine… all the machines had handles… if an end broke, it would make a curl, and you would have to stop the machine to take the yarn off and piece it up again and start over again.

  1. Did you remember when the mills began to close because the business went south?

  1. Yes, I was working in Sanford Yarn and Firestone bought the mills. There were three of them. They took over the whole thing and they didn’t believe in any unions, but they did give us a good living. I worked for them thirteen years. At the time they paid well, because I was making an average of twenty-four, twenty-five dollars a weeks which was a lot.

  1. What year was this?

  1. In nineteen twenty-five or thirty. They closed in nineteen thirty-five because they asked our city to lower their tax rate and the city refused. They asked the electric light Company to lower the tax rate because they were paying a cent and a half a kilowatt more than they were paying for their New Bedford plant…and the electric light Company refused. So they up and went down South. The people… oh, my goodness….they were the first company that gave anybody a weeks vacation with pay.

  1. There was no vacation when you worked?

  1. No, no…no such a thing.

  1. What happened if you got ill?

  1. You were out sick, you lost your day’s pay.

  1. No benefits? No medical….?

  1. No, no, none of that…. I would say that was in thirty-two, thirty-three. They put up a notice that if you had worked for the company five years, you got one-week vacation with pay. If you worked ten years or more, you got two-weeks vacation. At that time, before they left, I was getting two weeks vacation with pay.

I was married and my daughter was young and I came home after seeing my mother. The lady, that lived on the top floor and worked at Firestone with me, was outside sitting on the stairs.

           She said, " Oh, Mary, I got some bad news."

            I said, "What’s that?"

            She said, "Firestone is moving out of town." 

 Well we both sat down and just cried and cried. My husband had worked in the  American Print works and they closed up. Another thing, they were getting all the cloth that was made in the cotton mills. The used to call it the Iron Works. They started to send all the cloth to England to get it printed… and it would come back a cent a yard cheaper than it could be made here. That started the ball rolling. They were the first ones that did that. Then in time they closed up. Old man Borden died and the older folks who owned it (the younger ones had all the money they wanted) they didn’t want to be bothered with it. So my husband was out of work for seven months, and I was the only one working alone. Well if I didn’t cry… because there was both of us at home now without working.

  1. Did you have any relief? Did the city give anything…?

  1. No, from nowhere, from nowhere. So, I walked all over the city looking for work. There was none to be had. It was during the depression, there was no work to be had. Some of the mills were still going, but those who had jobs held on to them. I even walked from my house to the Union Hospital to go look for work in the laundry. They didn’t have any. So, they sent me to the City Hospital which was still further. I went there and they didn’t have any. I was gone all day. What I did… I followed the car tracks so I wouldn’t get lost… I followed the car tracks to come home. Looking for work. There was none to be had. It was a terrible thing.. a terrible thing.

  1. Then later on I took a chance and went down north. They had cotton mills down there. So, I went a couple of days, it was only fifty cents for a pass which would last you a week. I went a couple of times, there was nothing. One of the times I went, there were three women, two big, tall women and, of course, me….. and I was so little… I weighed about a hundred pounds. In the afternoon the boss came up, (I had gone in the morning, then I went back for the afternoon shift). He wanted somebody to run the big machines and the women didn’t want it because it was more of a man’s job. So, I said I would take it.

        He said, "Is it possible you could run the machine?"

        I said, "I could run anything you have in this room."

        He said, "OK".

So I took the job. I had to work with the clothes that I had on… I was constantly on the go. I wasn’t prepared for the job that day and I had a little cotton dress and white shoes… no stockings. When I got home at night, and I sat down… I took my shoes off … all the skin at the back of my heels came off. My husband was in tears and got a basin with water to put my feet in. My father-in-law was living with us at the time.

He said, "Here we are, two men in this house, and you’re the one who has to go out to work and come home like that."

        Well, I said, "I was glad I could do it."

        So, I continued working. This was on the afternoon shift - three to eleven. After a couple-a- weeks, the bosses’ niece on the first shift had to go to the hospital

The boss told me, "Do you want to come work on the morning shift. You can work in Mr. Miller’s niece’s job while she is out. She’ll be out for about three months."

        Oh, was I ever glad! I was going to work in the daytime and I knew sure I had a job.

I said, "Oh, yes." I took it.

When I left work the first day, the boss came in the morning, he didn’t know me from a "hole in the wall" but he could see how I left the machines, and left the work, and he figured I was worth keeping

I was proud of my work! I was very particular. I didn’t care if I didn’t have five minutes to eat, I was always cleaning those machines. They were sparkling all the time.

        I stayed there, I think, four years.

  1. The name of the company….

  1. Sagamore Mills.

The last year I worked there…it was on Labor Day. I went down to see my mother. When I came home, about nine o’clock, I felt kind of tired and I went to bed. I was going to work the next day. About eleven o’clock at night I started coughing up globs of blood. I had gone to the bathroom and when I saw that I hollered for my husband.

        I said, "Victor, come here."

        He came running.

"What’s the matter."

I said, "Look at that."

        He said, "Where did that come from?"

I said, "I just threw that up."

Oh, my God, I had a doctor in at eleven o’clock at night who wanted to bring me to the hospital. I had a broken blood vessel in my chest because the job was too heavy for me. Because I was so tiny, I had to wear four-inch heels in order to reach … and the spools at the top were very heavy. My finger was all cut because the bottom of the bobbins were metal and some of them were already broken so when the spool would fall, you would cut your finger. I finally ended up having a kid glove cap on my finger.

        Doctor Leonard said, "Mary, how long since you had a vacation?"

        I said, "I haven’t had a vacation in a couple of years."

        He said, "You’re going to have one now. What kind of work are you doing?"

I described it to him and he said, "No more for you, you can’t do that any more."

        I felt kind of bad.

 "By right, I should take you into the hospital. If you promise me you’ll stay in bed, and be   quiet, and have someone take care of you. And do not talk. That will heal. I am going to leave you a container. If you cough up any more blood during the night, tomorrow you’re going to the hospital."

Thank God, I didn’t…so that saved me. I had to give up that job. Firestone was already here and they bought the Iron Works. I went to work there. They were already here two years before I went down there. I went to the personnel office… where you stand in line and wait for a job… and they asked me,

"What do you know how to do? "

I told them, "I know how to run machines."

"Oh, we don’t have that kind of work here"

"Well, I’m willing to learn. I worked for Firestone for thirteen years in the cotton mill."

They said, "Well, you’re entitled to a job here if you want to take it."

So, I did. This was December 1940. I started to work at Firestone at thirty-five cents an hour. In 1940 that’s what they started the women with, and the men…forty cents. I worked where they made the rubber wheel …that’s where I started.

Two weeks after me, my husband got in. He worked in the gas mask department. The gas masks were already running. He worked there twenty four years and I worked there twenty-five. From thirty-five cents an hour, we had to wait almost five years before we got a five-cent raise. What they used to do … they have you work, maybe two or three years…after three years when you were ready to get a raise, they lay you off and hire somebody else.

They did all of that until the union got in there. When the union got in there, that’s when we started to get something.

  1. What was the name of the union?

  1. It was the AFL-CIO. When the union got in, we had a raise every year. Most of the time, the company would call from Akron and tell the people that they had gotten a five-cent raise. You didn’t even have to ask for it. Most everybody who worked there had been through a depression…they didn’t have anything. They had a job and they wanted to do the best and the most they could. That was a lot of production for the company.

I worked there for twenty-five years. I worked in the Foamex division…making mattress, pillows … cushions for chairs…all of that. During the war we made a lot … a lot of mattresses for the Navy… black mattresses for the Navy. Today, I have a pension from there. I get two hundred and sixty dollars a month… it goes according to the years you worked. The thirteen years I worked in the cotton mills, they couldn’t count because it was too long a lapse of time. I have all the Medical Insurance and I don’t pay a cent. It was all from the union. They were the ones who finally got the company to agree to give us a pension if we wanted to retire at sixty-two…. which I did.

I didn’t want do, but my husband said, "No, you worked long enough. Out! If you don’t, I’ll go down and get it."

 He was already home a year and a half before me, because he was a little older. Every three years, when the union contract came up, they gave us a little more benefits. All I have today is what I have from there. I took care of every cent I made. I didn’t squander any. I knew what it was to be without.

  1. Did your family own the house or did they rent?

  1. No, no. I lived in that house for twenty years and paid rent. Then I bought this house.

  1. Did the Connells rent?

  1. No, no they owned the house. If you go along the street and you look in back of the little house where your grandmother lived, there was a little white cottage there. Mr. Connell’s two sisters lived there. They were the principals of the schools I told you about.

  1. So there was another cottage back there.

  1. That was all open. The family favored Roland the most, because Bill was away at college. Roland was on the police force. His father was still living. His father was the U.S. expert on fingerprints.

  1. Did Catherine Connell ever work?

  1. No, no I never knew her to work or your grandmother. The oldest was William, then Roland, and Norman was the younger one.

  1. Tell me about Catherine.

  1. She was like you … about your size…(5 feet, 7 inches) a heavy person. She had black hair. A very outspoken person… not calling down anybody…it was just her way. She was a very nice person. Oh God..… always talking and laughing to everybody….the neighbors in the yard… when they came outside to hang out the clothes, because there were no laundries…you had to do your own.

She lived in the middle and the Shays (?) …lived there. Roland had two Aunts… one they called, Aunt Bell… she went on a trip with them to Michigan … a vacation… and they drove back with a car from the automobile factory. That’s how they had a car. The Connells did not have a car. That car belonged to the schoolteachers. Roland with the car was always at her beck and call …to do what ever they had to do…cash checks.

  1. My mother said that when she was walking to town, her Aunt would pass her in the car and wave to her on her way to town.

  1. They could be very uppity.

  1. How did my grandmother, Margaret… she was the red haired one…compare to Catherine?

  1. She was shorter and stouter. Red cheeks, blue eyes and had red flaming hair…curly hair. The two teachers were on the uppity side. They used to go to Hawaii every summer…ten-week vacation from school. Every year she had Roland drive her (Aunt Bell?) to Michigan, trade in the car and come back with a new one. But it was hers … the car was hers.

  1. You made a comment yesterday about the neighbors sharing things.

  1. Yes, yes. I could close my eyes and see your grandmother …she lived upstairs in that little bitty house. The rooms were… a bed, a chair maybe, sometimes nothing else, nothing on the floor… a bare floor that had to be scrubbed with a brush. She lived upstairs and she brought up her children in what I would call a cubbyhole today. A French family lived downstairs. Their name was Collard. On many a time I would see her coming downstairs with a loaf of bread to give to the downstairs neighbor.

  1. I heard she was a good baker.

  1. Oh, yes. And Catherine, the same thing. I would see her bring bread to your Grandmother.

  1. Did you visit the house…did people visit each other’s houses here.

  1. No we never visited anyone’s house. But if anyone was sick, we would all come over to see what we could do to help.

  1. When you were sick, did they come over to visit.

  1. I was living in a house over there. My Aunt came to stay with me because my husband was working. I think I was home seven weeks before I went back to work..

  1. What do you remember of the children…John, Raymond, Margaret.

  1. I only remember John, because he was very friendly with my brother, Emanuel. He went to New York to see John when he was already sick. (John Leo Morgan?)

  1. Who left first… John or Emanuel?

     M.     John did. My brother never left this area.

  1. You are a fount of information. You describe things very well. You should have been a writer… you have a real knack for this. You’re very expressive..

  1. (Laughs) I had to leave school when I was in seventh grade.

  1. What was the name of the school?

  1. Fowler School. We all went to that school. The Connells, the Morgans…all of them. The first floor had the first four grades. Two grades on each side of the hall. On the second floor, they had five, six, seventh, and eighth. One row …they had a few children that they considered ninth grade… they were a little smarter. I was in the grades down below, when they were upstairs, because they were older than me.

I had a teacher in the third grade, her name was, Miss Wood. She was my daughter’s teacher. Later on she was my grandson’s teacher. She taught three generations in my family.

  1. What time did you have to be at school?

  1. You had to be at school at eight o’clock. Between half past eleven we would come home for dinner, then you had to be back at school at one o’clock. You stayed until three-thirty. The class was always in the same room and you always had the same seat and the same teacher taught. When she was hired to teach third grade, she would teach third grade until she was ready to leave. There was no shifting around teachers. There were no raises. I never saw a teachers strike or anything like there is today.

When I was in second grade I can remember being in school and we had no lights.

  1. You had kerosene…?

  1. No, nothing. When it rained and it was dark, we had to sit at our desks and we couldn’t do anything. We got gaslights later on, and by the time I left we had electricity in the seventh grade.

  1. What kind of discipline did they have in the school. Did they have a problem with boys?

  1. No, they never had trouble with the boys. The boys yard was always different than the girls. The boys had the front yard, the girls had the yard in the back.. At recess you could go downstairs... you could go to drink water and use the toilets.

Today they break the faucets, there is no water in school because of the damage they do. There was none of that!

  1. Why is that?

  1. The discipline at home is the whole thing…it’s the discipline at home. If we did something my father didn’t like, all he would have to do is look at us like this …boy…we ran for the first chair there was. And that was all. Today if you say anything to the kids at school…"You’re going against my constitutional rights"…or "You can’t touch me"… or "You’re going to get sued."

  1. Did you have the Pledge of Allegiance?

  1. Everyday and a prayer. We’d all march in the first thing in the morning. Every class knew their place. We’d all stand in line outside before we went into school…you already knew where we had to go… the girl would play the piano…and we knew where we had to go. The principal was always in the center. She’d take out the Bible and she would read a verse from the Bible. When it came to saying a prayer, if you were a Catholic, when you reached a certain place you would stop. If you weren’t, you continued to the end. That was all. That was every day.

  1. Did you wear uniforms back then.

  1. No, no, uniforms were only for Catholic Schools or private schools.

  1. It sounded like Fowler was a good school.

  1. It was, it was. When I was in an upper grade…the sixth or the seventh…I sat here and the next to seat to me was Ambrose Kieley (?). He went on to be the principal of our schools. Up in this row…sat a young fellow…he used to live in this house over here…Elton Greenfield. He went on to be the head of all the submarine divisions in the United States. And there was Thomas Lomax. He was an important city politician.

  1. Did you feel upset that you couldn’t finish school.

  1. Oh, no. Because everybody else did… had to go to work.

  1. But some went on…

  1. Very few. I would say mostly the American children had a better chance to go on. The Portuguese that was out… they couldn’t wait for them to go to work. In fact, there was a time when some of them were changing the birth certificates to give them more years than they had. Until the government got smart and put a stop to that. It was just one of those things. But I did love going to school.

 Miss Wood. In the summertime… sometimes she wouldn’t go home for lunch. She would send me to the store on the corner here to get her a half dozen seedless oranges and a box of Lorna Donne cookies. That was her favorite, that was her lunch. When I got back she would make me open the cookies and let me take the first one. She was a lady…she was a lady. And when she retired, I got a beautiful basket and I picked out six beautiful seedless oranges and four boxes of Lorna Donne cookies. I gave that to her.

  1. Her first name?

  1. Martha Wood. The three of us stood near the podium, me, my daughter, and my grandson. My daughter gave her nice pair of earrings, and my grandson gave her a nosegay of flowers. There were tears there.

  1. What year was that?

  1. I would say that was probably sixty-seven.

  1. Going back to the Morgans, did you recall the father.

  1. I can’t recall him. Because I’ll tell you, the people around here… the husbands worked wherever…they worked long hours. The minute they got home you didn’t see them any more. Every job was long hours. Twelve hours a day. That was a must. For years we worked forty-eight hours. It was years before we got forty hours.

  1. There were other people living in this house before you moved in.

  1. There were the Shays, the Staffords…. Kenyon lived up stairs.

  1. No Foxes on this block?

  1. No, nobody around here with that name.

  1. How many years did you live in the small house on Ash Street before moving to this house?

  1. The little cottage over there?

  1. Yes.

  1. I lived there until my daughter was two years old. That would have been 65 years back. (1930). I was a year and a half old when my mother moved to this street. I was raised in hundred seventeen Ash.

Discussion of house locations (See Maps)

  1. Street above had no houses at all. This was built up after years.

  1. Did you have septic systems or sewers?

  1. We always had sewers and running water, but no bathtubs. We started with kerosene lamps then it went to gas and then …electricity. Quite a thing, I’ll say.

  1. Did you have streetlights?

  1. No lights on the streets. It took years before we got that.

  1. When did you get radios?

  1. We started to get radios around the thirties.

  1. Where you here when Catherine Connell died?

  1. No, we had moved down to the Middle Street. By the time I came back to this street, they were all gone. In fact, when I came to live here Norman got married. His wife’s name was May. They lived in the Connell house downstairs. I think Roland died first. I remember him walking down the street with binoculars on, going to the park. He was already very sick. His brother Norman ended up with half of a leg. He had a wooden peg at the bottom of his leg. He lived in his father’s house.

Norman’s wife’s father had a little summerhouse in Comma Fence Point (?). They slowly built it up bigger . It was beautiful. It was almost right under the bridge. Oh, it was gorgeous. We went there a couple of times and could see the bridge all lit up at night.

  1. Did the other sister visit often.

  1. I don’t recall them… people came in and out.

  1. Anything on the Tunney side?

    M.  I recall the name, but I don’t know them.

End of tape.

Mary Santos

FALL RIVER -- Mary (Ferreira) Santos, 94, of Ash Street died Tuesday, March 31, 1998, after a brief illness. She was the widow of Victor Santos and daughter of the late Manuel and Maria Gloria Ferreira.

Born in Fall River, she was a rubber worker at Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. for more than 25 years.

She was the oldest member of St. Louis Church and a member of its Women's Guild. She received the Marian Medal from Bishop Sean O'Malley on Dec. 7.
For years she made afghans for charitable organizations in this area, mainly for hospice and the Rose Hawthorne Lathrop home. She was active in the We Love Children organization.

Survivors include a son-in-law, Arthur Martin of Fall River; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces, and nephews.

Arrangements are with the Boule Funeral Home, 615 Broadway