The first Portuguese immigrant arrived in Boston on July, 1886 on the ship named “Sarah” and made his way to Hudson, where he settled. The immigrant known as José Maria Tavares originated from the island of Santa Maria in the Azores. Young Tavares, still in his teens went to work for Mr. Stow on his farms in an area that is now within the Town of Stow, MA neighboring Hudson. In 1887 he sent for his brothers Manuel and João who arrived in May of that year. The Garcias were the first immigrants from the island of Sao Miguel, settling in 1889. Before the turn of the century many others came, mostly from Santa Maria. Surnames common today such as Braga, Bairos, Correia, Luz and Câmara where some of the first families to arrive. During the next ten years the small colony of Portuguese immigrants was further diversified with immigrants from Madeira as well as others from the Azores. Couto, Furtado, Sousa, Pimentel, Araujo, Pestana and Grillo were the new surnames in this town and many resided along the Assabet River.
In 1908, Lodge #19 of the Portuguese Fraternity of the USA was formed, having as its first president José Grilo. The first Portuguese grocery store was opened to the public in 1913 by Victorino Bairos and António J. Chaves, with José M. Chaves as the Clerk. In the winter of 1914 a group of 20 Portuguese imigrants formed a brass Band that played for the first time in 1915. This group immediately became known and were proud to call themselves the Hudson Portuguese band. This band joined the Portuguese Club in the middle 1920s changing the name to Hudson Portuguese Club Band.
In 1915 a group of immigrants from the island of S. Miguel formed the Holy Ghost Brotherhood. In 1917 when America went to war, and with a relatively small number of Portuguese immigrants, Hudson sent 19 Luso-boys to the Armed Forces in World War I. Of those only one did not come back. Domingos Fortes was killed in action in the battle of Argonne, France. Fortes had been in the US less than two years and could barely speak any English.
The first Portuguese Club under the name of Hudson Sport Club was formed in 1919, with headquarters at 86 Apsley Street. João Rio was its first president. This organization closed its doors in 1922, and joined another group forming the ‘Clube Portugues de Hudson”, with its headquarters at 49 Main Street, where it stayed until 1933 when it moved to the existing facilities at Port Street.
The Club was incorporated in 1928, when late in the year the land was purchased for the Port Street facility (then at Riverview Road).
The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima started in 1939, when the Ladies Auxiliary adopted the Virgin Mary as their patron Saint. There has been a feast in her honor every year since that time. The first soccer teams were established in 1923 known as the Hudson Portuguese Club and the Madeirense Futebol Team. Faustino Mendes was the most famous player, to the point of playing on the US National Team. The first chapel was built by John P. Rio in 1951.
The first Portuguese immigrant to become an elected official for the Town of Hudson was António D. Chaves. He was elected to the Board of Selectmen in 1977. He was the second statewide, after Manuel Fernando Neto, of New Bedford. In 2001, the new facilities as we know them today opened to the public for the New Years’ Eve Celebration on December 31, 2004. Official inaugural ceremonies and festivities occurred May 1-7, 2005.
*The research was done by the late José M. Chaves. Please note that this is only a brief account of how some of the first Portuguese immigrants came to settle in the Town of Hudson, MA and ultimately worked together to create the organizations, societies and facilities that are still present and thriving today.
Founding Father’s of the Hudson Portuguese Club:
Vasco Couto, Antonio Margado, Joaquim Silva, August Mesquita, Antonio Loureiro, Jose Paulo, Jose Ferreira, Aldofo Correia, Antonio Duarte, Antonio Francisco, Jose Pereira, Antonio Texeira, Bernadino Augusto, Ricardo Oliveira, Jose Almeida, Manuel Alves, Feliz Correia, Joao (John) Pereira do Rio, Francisco Alves, Joao Alves