Brookline Boulevard
Independence Day Parade - July 4, 1916

Brookline Boulevard, 1916

This photo shows members of the American Red Cross during the Independence Day Parade on July 4, 1916. The photo was taken on the 700 block of Brookline Boulevard.

The second image shown below, taken from the Brookline Methodist Church, shows a large contingent of Red Cross nurses dressed in white as the procession turns right onto Wedgemere Avenue, heading to the community ballpark that then stood down the road to the left between Rossmore and Gallion Avenues. Day-long festivities were planned there sponsored by the Brookline Board of Trade.

The American Red Cross, including doctors and nurses, was dispatched to the European Theatre of War in 1916, over a year before the American Expeditionary Force arrived.

Brookline Boulevard, 1916

The First Independence Day Parade - 1914

According to articles from the Pittsburgh Daily Post, the first official Brookline Independence Day Parade and Community Fesitval was held on July 4, 1914 and sponsored by the Board of Trade. At this time, the community of Brookline was a mere six years old and had just established the community's official athletic field and playground. Located between Gallion, Rossmore and Wedgemere Avenues, the small park was built on leased land that would, in a few years, be developed into new housing. For now, it became Brookline's fairground.

The day-long festivities began at 9am with a parade that began near the Freehold Real Estate Office and Triangle Park along Queensboro Avenue, proceeded along Brookline Boulevard to Wedgemere, turned right and ended at the field. The parade was followed at 10am by a baseball game between the Brookline sandlot team and the Y.M.H.A's.

Following the game, several open athletic activities were planned, including 50-yard dashes for boys and girls, 25-yard dashes for children under age eight, stout men and lady's races, a married lady's race, exploding bag races, skipping rope races for girls, potato, sack, shoe and lemon races for kids, a baseball throwing contest for women and pegging the ball and circling the bases for boys and men. Prizes were awarded after each event. After these contests, at 4pm, was another baseball game featuring the same two Brookline teams as before.

Refreshments were provided all day long at stands located near the ballfield. Children were provided with complimentary food tickets. Hardies band was provided by the City of Pittsburgh to entertain the crowd at the ballfield during the afternoon.

As the day turned to night, the festivities moved from the ballfield to the boulevard, where Hardies band played more music from 7pm until 8:30pm in the open field across from the Chinese Laundry at the corner of Stebbins Avenue. After the concert, a large sheet was strung between two pools and motion picture entertainment was shown. The Grand Jubilee ended with a magnificent fireworks display. That first festival at Brookline's new park on July 4, 1914 was a wonderful day for the young community of Brookline.

Click on images for larger pictures

* Photos provided by Eileen Shock *

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