Monday, November 19, 2007
4th of July - 1899
If you remember fireworks at Jamaica Pond, raise your hand! You didn't have to be around in 1899 - the 1960s will do. There was nothing like the day-long festivities as described in this article, but the fireworks at the pond was the biggest thing that happened in J.P. each year. No need to go into Boston, just walk up the street. My family could actually see some of the fireworks from our front porch on Brewer street. Somehow, we reached the point that celebrations like those just couldn't be allowed any more - too risky. And too sad.
Boston Daily Globe July 5, 1899
Jamaica Plain was treated yesterday to one of the best and most interesting celebrations of the Fourth that have ever been held in the vicinity. The Jamaica Plain carnival association had charge of the entire affair and the success of the day was due to the untiring energy of the committees and members of the organization. From early morn until late in the evening they hustled around in the endeavor to satisfy the spectators. That they succeeded was manifest by the favorable comments of hundreds who went away feeling that at last Jamaica Plain had awakened from her sleep and had provided a grand day's entertainment.
Instead ofthe big parade as held for two years, a complete change was made and the observance of the day was conducted wholly to the vicinity of Jamaica Pond. A more ideal spot could not have been found and thousands thronged the boulevards and paths during the day.
In the morning and afternoon a series of interesting athletic sports was held, with music by a band. There was a fine display of fireworks from a raft on the water and another band concert in the evening.
The association worked in conjunction with teh city in the celebration, the appropriation of the city being augmented by funds procured by the association.
Between 15,000 and 20,000 people gathered about the pond in the evening to enjoy the display of fireworks.