CENTER HARBOR NH
Built - 1997
The quaint Winnipeasaukee lakeside village of Center Harbor was originally part of neighboring Moultonboro but went on its own in 1823. This quiet and beautiful community has inspired poetry by the famous John Greenleaf Whittier and provided much of the scenery for the hit movie "On Golden Pond" starring film actor Henry Fonda and his daughter, Jane.
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the town, the citizens of Center Harbor and surrounding towns had their beautiful bandstand built in 1997 and dedicated it to the town on July 4th. All costs, $65,000, were met by private donations with no tax money spent. The bandstand is the most expensive one in the Lakes Region.
The bandstand certainly has a very unique look about it being designed by Christopher P. Williams, architect of Meredith, NH and built by Buss Builders of Bradford, NH. It was styled to reflect a 19th century structure that had stood at Weirs Beach NH for many years. It has a dropped rear roof and raised front for sound protection from the road noise below with stone benches put in the grassy knowl area in a semi-circular fashion.
The structure is asyummetrical because it was planned to also serve as a stage and partly because it was built on the sloping site overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee below. The roof, with 6 slopes topped by a square cupola, is designed as a band shell to guide the sounds produced on the stage towards the audience. The railing in front can be removed when the structure is used as a stage. There are actually two sets of railings with decorative cutouts, a pine tree railing for the winter months, and sailboats for the summer months.
Not only is the sound wonderful during those Friday evening concerts from July 4th to Labor Day, but the view of the lake below is breathtaking. It is thus a very ideal spot for a bandstand and brings out the charm of the town and is also a great spot for those wedding pictures which have been taken countless times.
The town is also very proud of its Center Harbor Town Band which was established in 1878 and has played regularly since that time often being joined by other local and national bands during summer concert series. The band is thought to be the oldest in the state.
The bandstand in Center Harbor is the second one the community has had but there is a question just when the first one was demolished.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
Paul S. Mayerson, Director
Center Harbor Town Band &
David Ruell, President
Ashland Historical Society