Friday, November 30, 2007

Fourth of July Parade - 1897

The Jamaica Plain Carnival Association was responsibe for the yearly Fourth of July celebration. In the years before Jamaica Pond was used for the day's events, that meant a parade. And these people were'nt shy about laying out a parade, as you'll see in the route below. We might wonder at what happened to the enthusiasm these people displayed. The only parade I remember in Jamaica Plain was the Memorial Day parade from the Monument to Forest Hills cemetery if I get it right. I know it went down South street. In any case it was a solemn affair, far from the celebration described below.

Boston Daily Globe July 6, 1897

Fun At Jamaica Plain.

Parade Was a Pageant Worthy of the Carnival Association, and Delighted Many Thousands.

The citizens of Jamaica Plain did themselves proud yesterday in their celebration of the Fourth, and the carnival association scored a grand triumph.

The monster parade in the morning was a big success and was one of the best of the kind ever given in Boston. The procession was about three miles long but it took more than an hour for it to pass a given point. Starting at the Soldier's monument, on Centre st, the parade passed through the principal streets of Jamaica Plain, Boylston and Egleston Square.

It was a gain day for the residents of the section and many of the residences along the route were profusely and handsomely decorated for the occasion.

Police station 13, on Seaverns av, was hid behind a mass of bunting and flags, and the engine house on Centre st was also prettily decorated.

At the Jamaica club it was a day memorable in the organization's history. The spacious clubhouse at the corner of Green and Rockview sts was the finest decorated of any section. The exterior was covered with the national colors, while from the tip of the 70-foot flagpole just erected floated Old Glory. Inside the decorations were unusally pretty, there being a profusion of palms and potted plants and bunting.

The club kept open house all day, with its noted hospitality, nearly 400 being entertained. Among the guests were the Kearsarge veterans, the Cambridge military band and the newspaper men. The parade was viewed by the guests from the beautiful lawn. A pleasing feature was an address by Lieut Abbott of the Kearsarge veterans, who thanked the club for its sociability. Mr A.H. Stephenson responded in behalf of the club.

Features Were Good.

At 9 chief marshal S.D. Balkam gave the word, and the bicycle brigade under C.A. Underwood, swung into Centre st, between a solid mass of spectators, which lined the sidewalks.

Passing down Green st the procession was viewed at the Bowditch school by the judges, Senator W.W. Davis of Roxbury, Representative A.A. Maxwell and Rev L.W. Lott and Dr Joseph Stedman of Jamaica Plain, and W.S. Hurlburt of Cambridge.

The route traversed was as follows: Centre, Green, Washington, Atherton, Amory, Boylston, Lamartine, Mozart and Chestnut sts, Wyman av, Wyman Centre and Pond sts, Jamaica way, countermarching, Burroughs and Centre sts, Seaverns av, Alveston, Revere and Elm sts, Greenough av and Eliot st to the parkway.

The features were all good, and the judge had difficulty in picking the winners.

The bicycle division was composed wholly of clubs and individuals on wheels.

The Jogalong club had a pretty and artistic feature, a liberty bell made in red and white, suspended from a framework erected on four wheels. The memebers wore continental costumes.

The Suffolk cycle club turned out the largest number and made a fire appearance. "Darktown's military cycle corps," by the Jamaica cycle club, was a very warlike body, and elicited much applause.

The Ladies' Eliot club attracted attention by its neat showing.

The remainder of the division was made up of groups and individuals.

Children Applauded.

The first division was composed of the veterans, Sons of Veterans and barges with school children. The latter had decorated the barges in a very pretty manner.

All along the route the children received the applause of the spectators.

Composed of floats, the second division was the most attractive of the procession. It was led by a barouche, prettily decorated and entitled "Patriotic Belles." The occupants were Misses Helen Atwood, Cecelia Barrows, L. Bliss, Elizabeth W. O'Connell and Lucy Taylor.

The exhibit of the Jamaica Plain News, "Franklin's old printing office," in which there was an old press once used by that statesman, attracted considerable attention.

The Roxbury Catholic association had two floats, one representing the signing of the declaration of independence and the other a minstrel troupe. The latter had a piano, banjo and all the equiptment of a troupe. The latter delighted all by their excellent singing of minstrel songs.

A clever feature was that of Fred Bieller[sp] and Robert Weiz, a hit on the Hawaiian question. It was "United States and Japan fishing for Hawaii." Representatives of each nation were on horseback, riding back on a representation of Hawaii, with fishing poles trying to catch her.

Louise Lonsler[sp] as a Fiji dancing girl was good.

The battle between Monitor and Merrimac was also a fine feathre.

The personage to attract the most attention was his majesty The Globe, who took a drive to Jamaica Plain to celebrate the day. The spectators greeted their well-known and popular friend with hearty applause.

The third, or trades division was very interesting, and was the longest of any.

It was the last division - the horribles - that caught the eyes of the young people, and it was a unique affair.

[next came a Prizes Awarded section]

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