Portuguese Pioneers

Settlers from the Azores, a group of islands west of Portugal, began coming to California in Gold Rush times, and later for the economic opportunities. As they encouraged families and friends to join them, they became an important element in California and in the Santa Clara Valley as hard-working farmers and land owners.

The US Census for 1870 shows the first Portuguese family to settle in Milpitas: Frank Joseph, his wife Maria and their children, Frank (Jr.) and Anne. A single Portuguese man, who was named Manuel Rosa, age 22, resided with them. This pioneer family was soon followed by many other Portuguese settlers, who became important community members and leaders.

Milpitas streets named after these early Azorean settlers include: Carlo, Coelho, Falcato, Ferriera, Madruga, Mattos, Pashote, Pedro, Pimentel (coming soon), Rodrigues, Rose, Santos, Silvera,, Serpa, Simas, Torres, Valencia, and Vargas.

Portuguese Pioneers, Part II
In our September Street Names Stories article, we gave the names of the Milpitas streets named for settlers from the Azores, a group of islands west of Portugal. What we didn’t make clear is that some of those streets were named for descendants of those Portuguese pioneer families who were United States Armed Service veterans.

The streets that are named after veterans are: Falcato, Ferriera, Mattos, Pashote, Pimentel (coming soon), Rodrigues, Rose, and Torres. There will also soon be a Ferreira Court named after Gerald Ferriera. The other Ferreira Street is named after William Ferriera.

Our thanks go out to Lou Horyza for updating us on this street name information.

Official Website of the Milpitas Historical Society