EAST WOODSTOCK CT
East Woodstock Common
Built - 1986
The town of East Woodstock was originally part of Massachusetts in 1682 when residents of Ruxbury, Massachusetts settled in the area purchasing a large tract of land from the Mohegan Nation. The town was then renamed New Roxbury until changed to Woodstock in 1690 and becoming part of the state of Connecticut.
The town was wholly an agricultural area but after the War of 1812 became a bustling industrial one with distilleries, wheel wrights, oil mills, sawmills and most importantly shoe factories. By the mid 19th century, industry slowed down and the area became mostly a summer retreat for many wealthy and affluent New York City and other large city residents most notably by Henry C. Bowen who built his large summer home- Roseland Cottage, then holding very lavish 4th July and other summer parties attended by the likes of Henry Ward Beecher, General John Fharles Fremont and Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Harrison.
East Woodstock's bandstand was built on the East Woodstock Common in 1986. It is the second structure the town has had with the original one destroyed in a severe 1939 hurricane. The bandstand was a community and church project headed up by Mary and Bob Billings for a venue for concerts and as a centerpiece for the town's 4th of July Jamboree and was financed by donations from residents of the community.
The bandstand has not only been used as a stage for the local popular East Woodstock Cornet Band but also for various church and community events and an occasional wedding. Various state officials along with the town's selectmen have given numerous speeches from the bandstand during holidays and the annual Jamboree.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
Reverend Susan J. Foster, Pastor
E. Woodstock Congregational Church