Sidney A King.

The Story of the sesqui-centennial celebration of Pittsburgh, July 4, September 27 to October 3, and November 25, 1908 : illustrated with portraits of prominent men and women and views taken during the sesqui- centennial, of marine parade, Greater Pittsburgh day, University of Pittsburgh and Memoria online

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Online LibrarySidney A KingThe Story of the sesqui-centennial celebration of Pittsburgh, July 4, September 27 to October 3, and November 25, 1908 : illustrated with portraits of prominent men and women and views taken during the sesqui- centennial, of marine parade, Greater Pittsburgh day, University of Pittsburgh and Memoria → online text (page 11 of 23)
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of West Ohio Street and down Western Avenue.
The police had gathered at the department of
public safety building, the street department men
at the city stables, and each coterie of representa-
tives at the various headquarters of the bureaus
and had marched to the north side as early as 8
o'clock. Director Edward G. Lang, marshal of
the citv section, had good wide streets in which to
march and counter-march his men and to move
his wagons and floats into position. This section
of the parade fell in behind the carriages of the
distinguished guests and was the first series of
surprises viewed by the crowds. The old fire
apparatus aroused considerable interest and the
dift'erent ofificials and attaches of bureaus were
cheered by their friends as the city division went
down Federal Street to the Sixth Street bridge.
This entire division was a section l)y itself, ex-
clusive of the monster squad of policemen picked
to head the column of marchers and floats. The
ad\-ance guard of mounted policemen and police-
men on foot rested in Federal Street ahead of the
regimental bands.

The Historic and \'eteran division rested on


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Ridge Avenue, with the head of the column resting
at Marion Avenue, near the middle of the City
division. As the rear of the City division swung
past the veteran organizations and floats of the
Historic division dropped into position behind
and followed down West Ohio Street. The Local
Recruiting division had formed on Irwin Avenue,
on the opposite side of Ohio Street from the His-
torical division, also beginning its march in Ohio
Street, behind the Veteran division.

Uniformed and fraternal organizations, many
of them headed by their own bands, assembled in
East Ohio Street, the head of the column facing
the City division. This section extended east to
Cedar Avenue, down Cedar Avenue to Avery,
down Avery to Liberty, and on down to Washing-
ton Street and around the corner in Washington
Street some distance. This extended line of
marchers moved forward as the Local Recruiting
division filed past, their line of march beginning
at Federal and Ohio Streets.

The Educational division, consisting of repre-
sentatives of all the schools and colleges in the city,
marshaled by Prof. John A. Brashear, gathered
ni Ridge Avenue, behind the Historic and Veteran
division, and they marched after the Historic divi-
sion until superseded in line by the Local Recruit-
ing division. The boys and youths then fell in
behind the Local Recruiting division and marched
to Ohio and Federal Streets, resting until the uni-
formed and fraternal organizations passed, falling
in behind the latter section.

The Labor division was moved into position in
the procession behind the Educational section.
The Manufacturing di\-isi<)n, containing the
greatest number of illustrative floats, was formed
in a series of streets, most of them having been
hauled into position during the night. The head
of the column was at Irwin and Western .\ venues,
the line of floats and marchers extending north in
Irwin Avenue, east on North Avenue to .Arch
Street, and west on North Avenue as far as .Vlle-
gheny Avenue. There was also a portion of tliis
section in Beech Avenue, and the entire line Avcnt

into position behind the Labor section, headed by
Charles J- Graham and his stafT.

The last section of the parade, comprising the
commercial and transportation division, and in-
cluding the floats of individuals and private cor-
porations, was formed in North Avenue, with
the head of the line at Arch Street, and extending
east in North Avenue to Cedar Avenue, where the
line extended south in Cedar Avenue to Ohio
Street, and on several other streets below North
Avenue. This section of the parade entered the
line at Montgomery Avenue and Arch Street.
Every float was manned Ijy a full quota of men to
remove pillars and other high devices when going
under bridges, and each float carried drinking
water and refreshments for the dri\-ers and other
men so that there could be no delay by men
absenting themselves from the floats. E\ery man
had explicit instructions where and when to per-
mit street cars to pass, and the line of march
moved with wonderful precision and with ])rac-
tically no obstructi(;n down Federal Street, over
the Sixth Street bridge, and to the Court of Honor
on Fifth Avenue.

As the \-an of the line reached the corner of
Libertv Avenue and Sixth Street and swung
around facing the gorgeous archway on Liberty
deafening cheers arose from the thousands of
patriotic admirers who were packed and jammed
along Libertv .\\-enue for several squares and on
Market Street. This sliort square was probably
the scene of the greatest crush. It had several
advantages of \vhich the crowd was well aware.
It aft'orded a good \-iew of the approaching line
from the time it reached the bridge. At the first
sign of its approach the mass surged toward Lib-
erty Avenue, causing an awful jam. When it
swung around the point at Liberty and Fifth, and
started out Fifth Avenue, the attention of the crowd
changed and many of them turned toward Fifth
.\A-enue to get another \-icw of arrayed marchers.

The arch at Liberty and Sixth was the first
through which tlie parade passed. Though it had
been watched dav after dav during its course of


Greater Pittsburgh Day Sesqui-Centennial Committee

Greater Pittsburgh Day Sesqui-Centennial Committee

(ircatcr Pittsburgh Day Sesqui Centennial Committci


HON. J. A. bakchfii:ld

Greater Pittsburgh Day Sesqui-Centennial Committee


construction by thousands of people, at no time
did it appear as grand as wliilc the various organi-
zations were passing under it. Though the streets
were roped, it was found that scarcely enough
space had been allowed for the square turn from
Sixth into Liberty.

The police found it necessary to force the mob
back a few feet. This was scarcely necessary,
however, as it was found that the line, more by
instinct than necessity, closed a little as it passed
through the arch.

Despite the fact that this was the first sharp
corner the parade made there was not a break in
any of the formations. Like well-drilled militia-
men they rounded the corner with such precision
that more cheers of admiration burst from the
excited throng. Following the leaders came a
regiment of carriages and these, too, maintained
their relati\'e positions in the line with a remarkable
degree of accuracy as they whirled around the
corner and headed for the arch.

Though there is little probability that this idea
was in the minds of the committee when the loca-
tion of the arch was chosen, the effect was extremely
pleasing, as the various organizations and forma-
tions and floats swung around the corner, enter-
ing the arch almost as they turned. This was the
first feat that tested the military ability of the
men in the line and it was accomplished with
exceeding grace.

Just beyond the arch, and but a few paces away,
the line confronted the most difficult corner along
the line turning from Liberty Avenue into Fifth
Avenue. The angle is at about 25 degrees and it
puzzled many of the formations to maintain the
dignity of the line. Here again, the throngs of
people had jammed well out into the street and it
was necessary for several of the companies to
halt for a few seconds. This, of course, stopped
the entire line for a brief period, but remarkably
little time was lost from the start until the destina-
tion was reached.

Despite the fact that this corner was difilcult it
afforded one of the most spectacular incidents


along the entire route. While a few of the less
expert marching organizations made slight blun-
ders, the companies that were well drilled and
ready to master even much greater tasks brought
forth repeated cheers from the male portion, who
waved their flags and clapped their hands. Almost
like a mechanical manipulation, these organiza-
tions approached the point. Like spokes revolv-
ing around a hub, the lines of uniformed men
turned, the inside man remaining almost at placed-
march. The end men were of course moving at
a double-quick pace and it can readily be under-
stood how difficult it was for untrained men to
maintain a straight line.

Righting themselves into Fifth Avenue, the pro-
cession advanced in perfect order. The greatest
difficulty at the point was found when the large
floats approached. One of them drawn by two
span of decorated horses, made the turn very
gracefully, but this was due to the dextrous man-
ner in which the driver handled the reins. There
was some apprehension lest the space would not be
sufficient, as the length of the team and float was
equal to almost half a square.

As Lieutenant General Young dashed around
the corner on his black charger, and the animal
soul seemed to be aflame with enthusiasm over
the occasion, cheers went up along the line of
Fifth Avenue to the court house. As the parade
passed under the beautiful arch at Fifth Avenue
and Grant Street the sight from vantage points
down the avenue was inspiring.

On several occasions along Fifth Avenue,
between the down-town section and the park, the
crowds became so excited that they attempted to
press over the ropes, heedless of the admonitions
and threats of the police. At a number of points
where the street is narrower than in the down-town
section, halts were made to adjust the formations
to the space that the crowds and streets allowed.

The scenes about the reviev^dng stand in Schen-
ley Park were beautiful, picturesque and inspiring
for hours before the parade arrived at its destina-
tion. The entire park was a mass of humanity,


Finance Sesqui-Ccntennial Committee


(Greater Pittshuri;li I)av Committee

Finance Sesqui-Centennial Committee


Finance Sesciui-Centennial Commit



with interest centering around the stand. Several
hundred distinguished guests were on hand long
before the parade. They arrived in gaily be-
decked automobiles and carriages, and in these
spun about the park until word arrived that the
advance guard was in sight. They then aban-
doned their cars and took their positions in the
reviewing stand. The reviewing committee, of
course, occupied the conspicuous positions, and as
soon as Lieutenant-General Young arrned at the
head of the parade his proud steed was turned
over to an attendant and he, too, occupied a seat
of honor in the stand.

A very creditable feature, and one that is fre-
quendy not given proper consideration when out-
lining a route of parade, is that the distance was
not great enough to fatigue the participants.
Instead, all the organizations marched up in a
fresh, spirited manner before the reviewing stand.
There were no laggers whose legs had becon^e
weary by the long walk. As a result, some of the
organizations gave the best exhibitions of drilling
and military maneu\-ers that have ever been seen
in this city.

The Heath Zouaves probably made the greatest
impression with their exhibition before the review-
ing committee. This is an old organization, and
for many years held the championship of this
State, in drilling exhibitions. The members had
apparently lost but little, if any, of their old valor.
They introduced a number of unicjue formations
and designs in a manner that stirred the admira-
tion not only of the committee and distinguished
guests, but of the thousands upon thousands of
men, women and children who had assembled for
this finale of the parade.

Several other organizations made decidedly
favorable impressions by their A\-ork, and fre-
cjuently the crov^'d vented its admiration in cheers
that resounded throughout the Schenlcy district.
Each band played as though it was contesting for
a prize as it passed the stand. The dignity of the
line was maintained for about two s(|uares l^eyond
the reviewing stand, where it was broken. Each


company, band, float and organization dropped
out and they went their respective ways. There
was a touch of pathos in the deeper minds as they
saw the parade line passing so boldly and glori-
ously up to a given point, then scattering in all
directions. Realizing that the greatest event of the
greatest celebration this city or even this country
has ever held, is ended, and that a similar occasion
cannot take j^lace for another one and a half cen-
turies, a feeling of sadness pervaded the minds of
manv of tlie people who watched the event at
that end of the march.

Within half an hour after the last of llie parade
passed the re\'iewing stand tlie participants had
all disappeared, many of them having boarded
cars for their homes, while others hurried back
to the down-town section.

One-lialf million people — Pittsburgers, former
Pittsburgers, and people who came from far across
the seas — witnessed the gorgeous pageant. They
lined the streets, crowded in every available win-
dow, stood on the roofs of small buildings and sky-
scrapers, climbed high into the structure of the
Sixth Street bridge, risking their lives, and squeezed
themselves into every other place that afforded
them a glimpse or good view of the gigantic
parade. So big a crowd has never before thronged
the streets of Greater Pittsburgh, and it is a safe
venture to assert that never again will sucli great
multitudes assemble here. It was just one solid
mass of humanity that surged, pushed and forced
its way through the streets, searching for places
at the guide ropes, and formed one continuous
line along the parade route.

Stampedes were countless, pushing, forcing and
complaining, and there were countless complaints
from the sightseers. Several persons in the great
mass of humanity fainted in the crushing and rush.
The crowds had to Ix' almost beaten back to make
a thoroughfare for the remo^•al of the suffering
to the oj)en air.

Eong before the time set for the start of the
gigantic parade, people started to gather about
the thoroughfares over which the pageant traversed.



WM ^




Sub-Chairman Uniformed Societies and Independent Military

Sesqui -Centennial Committee


Chairman Creater Pittsburgh Le£;islation Sesqui-Centennial Sub-

Chairman Carriage Ses(iui-Centennial Committee



Secretary Sub-Finance Sesqui-Centennial Committee


Ropes were strung shortly after last midnight to
prevent the people congregating about the middle
of the streets and thus interfere with the marching
of the paraders. At lo o'clock, just one hour
before the starting time, the streets along the
parade route, from Federal and Ohio Streets,
North Side, to the Hotel Schenley, in Oakland,
werd almost impassable. People desirous of mak-
ing their way from one place to another found it
necessary to walk to streets o neither side of the
parade route to aovid the great crowds. The
roof of almost every building along Federal street
was crowded to its capacity, people hung out of the
windows of every small building and skyscraper,
while the structural work of the Sixth Street
bridge was made invisible by the crowds that hung
on high up into the arch-like work and crowded
the floor and sides until the great bridge trembled
under the great weight. Sixth Street, Market
Street and Fifth Avenue — well, the crowds that
gathered in these thoroughfares are indescribable.
There were so many people along these avenues, in
so many different places, hanging over the tower-
ing roofs of skyscrapers, craning tlieir necks out
of windows, hanging to the tops of telegraph
poles, and in so many other different and dangerous
positions that it would be impossible to give a
precise description of all.

They craned their necks, magnified the great
scene with the aid of field and opera glasses,
and thus they looked upon the greatest pageant
that has ever before been held in this city.

The great quantities of confetti thrown from
the tops and windows of buildings gave the atmos-
phere the appearance of a snow blizzard. It was
blinding and was responsible for some of the
anxious people missing some of the chief features
of the pageant. Policemen, with dressed maces,
stood inside the ropes, keeping the crowds back of
the lines, while at intervals a mounted bluecoat
would bellow through his trumpet for order.
The policemen found it a difficult task to cope
with the situation. The masses of sightseeing
people surged their way against the ropes, and


not a few times did they try to force their way
to the street. The policemen at times found it
necessary to use their clubs to keep the crowd
under control.

Not one moment of quietude prevailed during
the passing of the great pageant. Cheer after
cheer went up in volumes. They were deafening
and drowned the shrill blasts made by the big
steamboat whistles and whistles of the surrounding
mills that sent forth toots and blasts in honor of
the big celebration. When the civic float, repre-
senting the progress of Pittsburg, from the birth of
the city to the present day, passed a tremendous
cheer fiJled the air. This, the people thought, was
one of the most magnificent features of the entire
program. Tired feelings, illness and discomforts
were given absolutely no attention by the interested
crowd as they yelled themselves hoarse.

The police arrangements for the parade, as
worked out by Superintendent Thomas A. Mc-
Quaide and his able assistant, Edward Kennelly,
were of the best, and called forth no little com-
mendation. Not only was every member of the
uniformed police force of the city on duty, but
every fireman who could be spared from his engine
house, and everx- wliite wing in the employ of the
city, was on duty on the line of parade. Tliis
gave sufficient men to handle the big crowd in
good shape. In addition to the mounted men and
the ICO six-footers in the parade, there was a
continuous line of police on duty on both sides of
the route of parade.


'Tt was the greatest demonstration I ever wit-
nessed viewed from either an educational, indus-
trial or historical standpoint; all three combined
it was a remarkable exhibition, which I am sure
will not be equaled for some time to come."

This comment on the Sesqui-Centennial parade
was expressed last night by Vice-President Charles
W. Fairbanks. His words were enthusiastically
endorsed by Governor Edwin S. Stuart, Lieu-



Sub-Chairman Hotel and Restaurant Sesqui-Centennial Committee Hotel and Restaurant Sesqui-Centennial Committee


Hotel and Restaurant Sesqui-Centennial Committee Hotel and Restaurant Sesqui-Centennial Committee



tenant Governor Robert S. Murphy and former
Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker. All of them
declared they were astonislied at the educational
and historical features of the pageant and the
elaborate presentation.

"I have witnessed many so-called parades,"
but this demonstration of yours was so far above
and beyond anything I ever expected that it in-
terested me beyond expression. I am sincerely
delighted that I was fortunate enough to partic-
ipate in the affair. I expected great things of
Pittsburgh in an industrial way, but I was hardly
prepared for the exhibition I saw to-day. The
parade was worth, in an educational way, every
cent you have spent for the sesqui-centennial cele-
bration. The people of Pittsburgh are certainly
to be congratulated."

^Ir. Fairbanks was greatly pleased with the
reception he received at the hands of the people
all along the route of the parade. He was com-
pelled to stand in his carriage with hat in hand
bowing his acknowledgments during most of the
way. "I certainly appreciate the reception I re-
ceived," said the Vice-President.

"We always expect great things of Pittsburgh,"
declared Governor Stuart, "but to-day's demon-
stration was more magniircent than I anticipated.
It is impossible to estimate the educational and
historical value of the exhibition.

"Perhaps these features were more prominent
because we are prone to look only for things in-
dustrial in Pittsburgh. This latter feature of
the demonstration must not be overlooked.

"I am sure it has given me great pleasure to
be here at this time. Your city is to be congrat-
ulated. I saw more than I expected and con-
sider myself fortunate to be your guest. Pitts-
burgh has demonstrated its ability to handle big
things, and to-day's demonstration, I will venture
to say, will not be duplicated for several years at
least. It was wonderful."

Governor Stuart was happy over the enthusi-
astic ovation accorded him during the parade.
The Governor's smiling countenance was recog-


nized instantly by the great crowd of spectators
and he was forced to bow many times.

One of the most delighted of the city's guests
was former Governor Pennypacker, who was one
of the strongest advocates of the Greater Pitts-
burgh bill when it was before the Legislature.
"I have been amply repaid for all I ever did in
assisting the consummation of a Greater Pitts-
burgh," declared Mr. Pennypacker. "The
exhibition which passed in review before us to-
day was the greatest demonstration, in many
ways, that has ever been witnessed in Pennsyl-
vania. I was particularly interested in the his-
torical display, and I must say that it was niuch
better than I expected.

"I cannot tell you how much pleasure it has
given me. It was intensely interesting from start
to finish. The consolidation of the two cities,
I can see, has already borne fruit. However,
you are just at the beginning. Greater Pitts-
burgh is destined to be a wonder-working city.
You are already great industrially; in the arts
and sciences you will be, some day, just as great.
I have enjoyed every minute of my visit and hope
it will not be my last."

No person in the parade received more hearty
greeting tlian ex-Governor Pennypacker. From
the time the parade started until it ended the for-
mer governor was kept busy bowing from right
to left in response to the greetings from thousands
of spectators.

Lieutenant-Governor ]\Iurphy was received
with no less enthusiasm than the other
distinguished guests. INIr. Murphy has many
friends in Western Pennsylvania and is a
popular official with the masses. The crowd
cheered and applauded wildly in greeting all
along the line.

Speaking of the parade, Mr. Murphy said:
"It was wonderful. It is impossible for me to
dcscrilje the beauty and grandeur of the demon-
stration. I do not believe Pennsylvania ever
witnessed anything niore beautiful or more in-
spiring. It was an educational and historical




yTW^S^gMJI^t- '<"-





treat, and I am more than delighted to have been
here to witness it.

"I am no longer astonished at what Pittsburgh
does. She has accomplished so many great things
that we have come to expect a little more from her
than other cities. It was not only a glorious day for
Pittsburgh, but a glorious day for Pennsylvania as
well. What Pittsburgh did to-day will live through
the ages. Pennsylvania is proud of Pittsburgh,
but no more so than the nation should be."

Organized labor was well represented in the
big pageant forming the sixth division. The
various floats in this division showed plainly how
the laboring man has aided in the growth of Pitts-
burgh during the last century and a half. They
also showed the progress of the various trades in
this city during that time.

Hon. Eric C. F. Collier, the young Englishman
who is here with the honor guests, was grave as
usual and did not turn his back on the parade
except when courtesy demanded. He is getting
up in his Pittsburgh, and his cheeks glowed with
enthusiasm as he remarked:

"You have a most efficient way of doing things
here in Pittsburgh. In our country the whole
army would have been necessary to accomplish

what these few mounted men have done in con-
trolling the people. The parade? At Queen
Victoria's diamond jubilee the parade was the
most magnificent spectacle I ever witnessed. For

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibrarySidney A KingThe Story of the sesqui-centennial celebration of Pittsburgh, July 4, September 27 to October 3, and November 25, 1908 : illustrated with portraits of prominent men and women and views taken during the sesqui- centennial, of marine parade, Greater Pittsburgh day, University of Pittsburgh and Memoria → online text (page 11 of 23)