Only those who have lived in the beginning of the building of a city can fill in the blanks of its history. This is the case of my mother, who will turn 92 this year, and is very lucid.
She arrived in Primeiro de Maio 91 years ago, with her parents, José Correa Porto de Abreu – who later became the first mayor, and her mother, who was the first teacher. They were the founders of the city.
My mother, who enjoys talking about the old times, has told me very interesting facts about this beginning, which she had heard from my grandmother, years ago.
The north of Paraná was divided into farms and ranches that were sold to people who wanted to break new ground. Among the people who acquired land were my grandfather and his brother, Avelino Correa Porto de Abreu, who never lived in the area.
In those farmlands, with workers coming to clear the wood and, later, plant coffee, people started to live very close to each other. On the first street that was opened, boss and employees built their houses, as though it were a village. The general store of the farm sold just about everything, including sewing machines.
With the occurrence of malaria, due to the proximity to Tibagi River, the idea of looking for another site to “transfer” the little “village” started and grew. When the ideal place was found, Zé Correia, as the leader of the movement was known, negotiated the lands with the proprietor, Mr Rigoni. These lands bordered with the ones belonging to Mr Frutuoso and Mr Rafael Martins, among others.
After purchasing the land, Zé Correia designed a city with a regular layout, and numbered streets. He reserved a block for the churches, for his dream, which did not come true, was that they shared the same space. He also reserved a block for the school. The other pieces of land were sold or donated to those who wanted to build a house or open a store.
All the proprietors of pieces of land around the settlement (some of them also divided their land to sell) were invited to live there, because, to become a district, it was necessary for the settlement to have a certain number of residences and inhabitants.
After the settlement moved to that location, Zé Correia rented a house, where he lived for years and where the first registry office existed, and started to look for a piece of land to build his own house.
The place he liked the most belonged to Mr. Frutuoso, from whom he acquired the eight acres that went from Jacu river until the Mr. Manoel Martins’s land. Of this property, Zé Correia reserved “an acre and three fourths” to build the house where he and his wife Anita lived all their lives: the place known until today as the The Grove.
It is a postcard of the city, a treasure, a beautiful piece of native forest, carefully preserved.