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1875 1877

Philadelphia Timeline, 1876


  • January 1. Grand celebration of the opening of the Centennial year, at the State House, by hoisting the grand Union flag, together with illuminations, ringing of bells, blowing of steam whistles and firing of cannon and firearms, at midnight, between December 31 and January 1. Immense concourse of people present.
  • January 28. Moody and Sanky's meetings at the old Pennsylvania freight depot, southwest corner of Thirteenth and Market Streets, closed. During the time they were in the city they held 210 meetings, and it was estimated that they were attended by more than one million and fifty thousand persons.
  • February 27. Main auditorium of Siloam M. E. Church, Otis Street above Thompson, dedicated.
  • March 6. First train of cars from Philadelphia to New York, over the Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad (depot, American and Berks Street) passed through from city to city.
  • March 18. West End Mills, Sixty-seventh and Lombard Streets, burned; loss, $195,000.
  • March 26. East Montgomery Avenue M. E. Church dedicated.
  • March 28. New depot building of Twelfth and Sixteenth Streets Passenger Railway Co., Twelfth Street and Susquehanna Avenue, fell in, in consequence of heavy rains.
  • April 1. Municipal census taken by the police. Dwelling houses, 143,936; inhabitants, 817,448; males over twenty-one years, 226,070.
  • April 22. New building of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Broad and Cherry Streets, dedicated.
  • April 27. New York and Philadelphia Railroad between both cities opened by excursions.
  • May 1. Continental (horse) Railway opened.
  • May 3. New branch of the Reading Railroad to the Centennial grounds opened.
  • May 7. Roman Catholic Church of St. Charles Borromeo, Twentieth and Christian Streets, dedicated, the Empress of Brazil being present.
  • May 10. Opening of the Centennial International Exhibition of Industry, at the Centennial grounds, Fairmount Park, by the President of the United States, in presence of members of Congress, Supreme Court, Cabinet, and many other National, State and municipal officers, and over one hundred and fifty thousand people. The Emperor and Empress of Brazil were present, participating in the ceremonies which were grand and impressive.
  • May 26. John Hay's waste paper warehouse, northeast corner of Germantown Avenue and Master Street, collapsed from being overweighted with materials during alterations. Three persons were killed and four injured.
  • June 14. First passenger train run over Philadelphia and Newtown Railroad to Fox Chase.
  • July 3. Centennial service at Christ Church.
  • July 4. Centennial anniversary of Declaration of Independence.
  • Parade of volunteer troops from all parts of the Union; ;exercises in Independence Square, oration by William B. Evarts; poem by Bayard Taylor; Senator Ferry, President of U. S. Senate, presided. Emperor of Brazil and large number of distinguished visitors present; grand music by large chorus and orchestra. In the evening a grand display of fireworks was given in Fairmount Park.
  • Dedication of the Catholic T.A.B. Fountain in Fairmount Park.
  • Monument to Alexander von Humboldt, in Fairmount Park, unveiled.
  • Explosion of chemicals at drug store of Henry F Bucher, Passyunk Road and Moore Street. Four men killed.
  • Fire at Detwiler & Hartranft's Quaker City Flour Mill, Delaware Avenue above Laurel Street, Landell's soap works, lumber yard of Collins & Co., and B.F Taylor & Co., and Taxis' screwdock; loss, $90,000.
  • July 7 Fire, yarn mill of James Meadowcraft & Son, Emerald and Sergeant Streets: loss, $25,000.
  • Long centre span of the Penrose Ferry Bridge fell into the Schuylkill River.August 24 "New Jersey State Day" at the Centennial Exposition. Paid admissions, 56,325. Exhibitors, complimentary, etc., 8,709; total 65,034.
  • August 31. Prize fight at Pennsville, New Jersey, between Jimmy Weeden and Young Walker for $250.00 a side, won by Weeden. Walker died from the effects of his beating shortly after the fight was concluded. The captains of various boats and the Creedmoor Cutter, a barge, and others, the principal and accessories arrested and held by the Coroner of Philadelphia.
  • September 3. Fire at Mund & Albrecht's Farm (picnic grounds frequented principally by the Germans) Indian Queen Lane, Falls of Schuylkill. Property entirely destroyed; loss, $50,000.
  • September 6. Parade of Volunteer Firemen, embodying many of the old volunteer companies of Philadelphia, with companies from other parts of the Union.
  • September 14. "Massachusetts Day" at Centennial Exposition. Admission to main exhibition, 78,977; live stock show, 6,818; free admissions, etc., 12,075; total, 97,968.
  • September 22. A number of wooden buildings in Shantytown (in close proximity to the Centennial grounds) were town down by the police under the direction of Mayor Stokley.
  • September 25. "New York Day" at Centennial Exposition. Paying visitors at main exhibition, 118,719; at live stock show, 3,284; free admissions, 12,585; total, 134,588.
  • September 28. "Pennsylvania Day" at the Centennial Exposition. There were 274,919 persons in attendance.
  • October 1. Audience room of the Fifth Reformed Presbyterian Church (General Synod) York Street near Coral, dedicated.
  • October 2. Edwin Forrest Home, near Holmesburg, opened. "Instituted for the support and maintenance of actors and actresses decayed by age or disabled by infirmity."
  • October 3. Philadelphia, Newtown and New York Railroad sold at auction at the Merchants' Exchange for $10,000.
  • October 5. "Rhode Island Day" at Centennial Exposition. Total attendance, 100,946.
  • October 12. "New Hampshire Day" at Centennial Exposition. Total attendance, 115,422. Monument and statue to the memory of Christopher Columbus, procured by the Italians of Philadelphia, dedicated in Centennial grounds.
  • October 18. "Reading Day" at the Centennial Exposition. Total attendance, 138,874.
  • October 19. "Delaware and Maryland Day" at the Centennial Exposition. Total attendance, 176,407.
  • October 20. Monument statue in memory of John Witherspoon, signer of Declaration of Independence, dedicated in West Park.
  • October 21. Fire at George Griffith's shovel factory, Locust above Fifth Street; loss, $50,000.
  • October 22. Cornerstone laid of Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Visitation, Leigh Avenue and B Street.
  • October 26. "Ohio Day" and "Merchants' Day" at the Centennial Exposition. Attendance, 135,661.
  • October 27. "Vermont Day" at Centennial Exposition. Attendance, 108,080.
  • October 30. Girls' Normal School at Seventeenth and Spring Garden Streets, dedicated.
  • November 2. "German Day" at the Centennial Exposition. Attendance, 128,002.
  • November 7. "Women's Day" at the Centennial Exposition. Attendance, 87,859.
  • November 9. "Philadelphia Day" at the Centennial Exposition. Attendance 193,078. In the evening, display of fireworks.
  • November 10. The centennial Exposition was formally closed with appropriate ceremonies. During the 159 days that it was open the paying visitors were 8,004,274; free, 1,906,692. Total, 9,910,966. The free admissions were mainly those of exhibitors, attendants and employees.

< 1875 1877 >

Excerpted from "Happenings in ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900" by Rudolph J. Walther, 1925, Walther Printing House, Philadelphia, PA

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