A long-time member of the Fall River Historical Society, Constance C. Mendes is a strong supporter of our organization and, without doubt, one of our most dedicated and talented volunteers. A former member of the board of directors, she also served, for many years, as an officer, in the capacity of secretary. It may well be said that Fall River history, and the Historical Society, is a family tradition: Connie’s father, Horace Capstack (1900-1989), was also a long-time member and director of the organization.
A Fall River native now residing in Somerset, Connie graduated from B.M.C. Durfee High School, after which she earned her R.N. from Truesdale Hospital School of Nursing. She worked for the Head Start Program for many years.
Connie started her volunteer work with the Society in 1990 as a docent, and quickly expressed an interest in research and archival work, in which capacity she has concentrated her efforts for over two decades. An experienced genealogist with superior research skills, she is the Society’s in-house research assistant for patrons using the Charlton Library of Fall River History, and has enthusiastically assisted countless individuals, world-wide, with ancestral queries directed to the Society via mail and the internet. As a result of her work, extensive files of genealogical and biographical material have been assembled, providing an important resource.
She has also explored and provided the answers to general history questions in myriad subjects, using superior sleuthing skills honed through years of experience researching her personal ancestry in libraries, archives, and churches in the United States and abroad.
In addition, Connie has researched and catalogued several museum collections, most notably: ephemera, including: seventeenth- to nineteenth-century manuscripts, and postcards; Fall River Line memorabilia, of which she is highly-knowledgeable; and decorative arts, including nineteenth- and twentieth-century pottery, porcelain, and glass.
The backbone of the organization’s Annual Holiday Bake Sale, which she initiated, Connie, a talented baker, is noted for her extraordinary raisin squares – which are habitually sold out before they hit the sales table – and a wide variety of cookies.
An additional example of Connie’s community service is her work with the Somerset United Methodist Church, of which she is a very active member, serving on various church committees.