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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Original Southie Parade Went from Marine Park in South Boston To Faneuil Hall in Downtown Boston

Parade route published in Boston Globe, March 17, 1901

South Boston's famous St. Patrick's Day/Evacuation Day parade starts in South Boston and ends in South Boston, and has done so for generations.  See the route of the 2012 parade here.

But the very first parade on Monday, March 18, 1901 has a very different route, according to newspaper reports. It started in South Boston but ended up at Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston!

According to a map printed in the Boston Globe on March 17, 1901, the Southie parade started at Marine Park on Pleasure Bay, where various military bands and regiments convened.  It proceeded up East Broadway, turned onto G Street and marched around the Dorchester Heights Monument, then back out to E. Broadway. It headed onto West Broadway to the end of the road, before crossing the Broadway Bridge out of South Boston and into Boston.

There the procession turned right onto Washington Street, headed to Park Square, then down Charles Street, between the Public Garden and Boston Common.  Next it turned up Beacon Hill, passing the State House, down past the Parker House onto School Street. At the bottom of School - where the Boston Irish Famine Memorial is now - it turned left onto Washington Street, before heading to Dock Square, where Boston City Hall is today,  next to Faneuil Hall.

The parade was approximately 4.8 miles, and started at 2:00 p.m.

After the parade, the South Boston Citizens Association held its banquet at Gray's Hall in South Boston, where patriotic speeches were made well into the night.

For more about South Boston, visit the South Boston Historical Society

For Boston Irish history and heritage visit Boston's Irish Heritage Trail.

(Research for this story conducted by Boston Irish Tourism Association.)


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