Rep. William G. Reinstein
Built - c. 1896
Revere, Massachusetts is not only known as a city named after the folk hero and true patriot of the American Revolution, Paul Revere, who rode throughout the countryside warning his countrymen that "The British Are Coming" - but is also known world-wide as the city that boasts having the first public beach in the country - a "people's beach,' for the masses which once had a variety of exciting amusements, rides, carnivals and band concerts.
Revere was actually once part of Boston and was known as Rumney Marsh but in the 18th century, a new town was established in the area now known as Chelsea, Winthrop and Revere. This newly-formed township, known today as Revere, was then known as North Chelsea until 1871 when the name was changed to Revere. So in turn, Chelsea Beach became the beloved Revere Beach. After this, the single most important factor in the development of the town and beach was the initial establishment and operation of The Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad, or BRB&L which started operating in 1875 and was widely used for many years as a steam railroad but closed down in 1940 after electrified trains became popular.
With this initial easy access by public transportation to the beach, masses of people flocked to the area from 1880 on once development began of the amusement parks and boulevard and headlines of local Boston newspapers at the time declared Revere Beach as "The Coney Island of the East; Mecca for Millions; Playground of New England; The Beach with a Million Lights, and The Matchless Mystic City by the Sea."
When people remember the beach in those early days, they don't mention the sand and surf but mostly remember the amusements along the boulevard which provided hours of enjoyment - rides, dance halls, movie theatres, carousels, roller coasters and all kinds of special attractions. At night as well as during the day, the beach rocked with music from the bandstand, dance clubs and people even spent the night on the beach during those hot New England summer evenings. However, this all ended by the early 1970s when the buildings began to deteriorate and the great boulevard became just a strip of hony-tonk bars and abandoned buildings. "The Great Blizzard of 78" proved to be the final blow to the area due to the heavy winds and surf.
The only thing that withstood all of this and has survived countless years of use and abuse due to its solid 6 foot high foundation of concrete and ornamental steel columns that holds its great domed roof, is the bandstand. The harped topping atop the peak has also survived the one hundred plus years of weather and salty air from the Atlantic - discolored but proudly crowning this magnificent structure.
During the time when Revere Beach was developed, this bandstand was given much thought as far as planning and longevity were concerned since it was built to be the centerpiece of the great boulevard. Amusement parks quite quickly capitalized on the new form of entertainment of band concerts in those early years and bandstands became quite essential structures in every park to draw the crowds to the area. Local musical groups entertained daily during the summer evenings and Sunday afternoons filling the air with rousing renditions of the latest marches written by the famous John Phillip Sousa and other great song writers of the times along with waltzes and popular tunes of the day. The Revere Beach Bandstand thus played host on countless occasions to this popular form of entertainment for the masses and always drew large crowds to the structure.
The weekend of July 19, 1996 was a time of great celebration on and around the bandstand as it was Revere Beach's Centennial marking the 100th anniversary of the Metropolitan Parks Commission's acquisition of Revere Beach. Then on June 10, 2000, the bandstand was again honored to have it dedicated in name to Representative William G. Reinstein who worked so hard to make his city of Revere one to be proud of and was instrumental in the renovation process of the beach.
Thus Revere Beach has had a very glorious history for over a hundred years with generations of New Englanders and people from all around the world flocking to this coastal resort to enjoy its many wonders now long gone. The beach itself is still a favorite place for people to come to relax and reflect on what it used to be. The bandstand still offers occasional entertainment in an infrequent band concert which people thankfully, still enjoy now and have for so many years.