Intersection of Rte #9 & #136
Built - c. 1888
Durham was initially settled in 1770 and was part of Royalsborough until it became its own town and entity in 1789 then taking the Durham name. Its citizens began immediately having trouble between the proprieters of the land and the many new squatters who came to the town. Roads, schools, churches and industry only came about after many of the issues of the day were settled. The town started off with four separate villages with communication only being introduced once the land was cleared by roads which connected each section.
When the railroad came through the area and widepread communication to the outside world, the citizens of Durham generally didn't seem to welcome it moving in and wished to just keep to their own quiet ways.
Durham's abundant musical talent in the mid 1800s was well represented by Joseph G. Tyler who taught singing and organized the first brass band in the town and headed it over thirty years. Years later, Durham's "cute little bandstand" was built around 1888 and evident in photos of the 1889 Durham Centennial celebration. If Tyler's band played there, as if oten recalled, this structure may well date back to the 1870s.
The popularity of band concerts in Durham dwindled over the years when the railroad from Portland to Auburn agreed to bypass the town since the farmers did not want the noisy trains disturbing their livestock!!! A highway construction crew, when widening the road through Durham, moved the deteriorating bandstand out of the way in the 1950s where it sat abandoned and in sad repair until a Maxine Herling, stopped by the town office to talk about her concern that the Durham's past would be lost.
At a selectman's meeting, Mrs. Herling learned that any citizen was welcome to move the bandstand and with their permission, she arranged for a team of horses to move the bandstand to its present location. The bandstand was rededicated in the later 1950s, and since that time Mrs. Herling and her family have cared for the bandstand preserving it as part of Durham's history and organizing occasional band concerts.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
"Lest We Forget" - Barbara Merrill Fox, author