Anna B. Trowbridge Memorial Shell
Built - 1957
The town of Fairhaven was first settled in 1670 and was known at that time as "Acushnea." It was initially purchased from an Indian Chief, Wamsutta, and his son from English Settlers of the Plymouth Colony. Fairhaven was then officially incorporated in 1812.
Fort Phoenix State Reservation is located in the town and once served as the eastern defenses at the mouth of the Achushnet River. During the American Revolution, British troops stormed the area and within sight of Fort Phoenix, the first naval battle of the American Revolution took place on May 14, 1775. Then again, in the War of 1812, the fort helped repel an attack on the harbor by British forces.
Prior to the second half of the 19th century, whale oil was vital as a fuel source in the United States and Fairhaven was a very active whaling port until the town of New Bedford, lying across the river, became the chief source of the product with Fairhaven then playing a minor role with the town becoming more of a popular site for the building of homes for ship owners and Captains. Also Herman Melville set sail aboard the Acushnet from the town in 1841.
The Anna B. Trowbridge Memorial Shell in Cushman Park was so named after Miss Anna Trowbridge who served as Supervisor of Music in the Fairhaven School Department for over 36 years from 1897 to 1933. Miss Trowbridge dedicated her life to her students and their appreciation of music and was always ready to assist in anything that concerned the welfare of the schools and students as well as various church organizations, the Improvement Association and generally the welfare of the Fairhaven community.
In 1957, the Fairhaven Improvement Association voted unanimously in favor of donating $1,000 to the band "shed" project that the Fairhaven Junior Chamber of Commerce undertook. They also donated additional monies from its annual street fair. It was Miss Trowbridge's wish that such a bandshell to built for the enjoyment of music by all and her dedication to this project, prior to her death, earned her the respect of all and of having the band shell named after her and a plaque inscribed with her name affixed to the structure.
The bandshell was completed during the summer of 1957 due to the diligent efforts of many volunteer residents of Fairhaven with the Fairhaven Jaycees leading the charge. After a considerable amount of fill had been dumped at the site, twenty-six cubic yards of concrete was used to make a platform measuring twenty-eight by thirty-five feet. The slanted roof is supported by a thirty-five foot long steel beam resting on two steel pillars. The roof rafters measure twenty-six feet in length and are pitched at an angle of twenty degrees. In addition to a public address system and lighting, the bandshell is faced with California redwood.
As the Jaycees hammered away on their free evenings and weekends carrying lumber, painting and doing every possible type of construction work along with many other volunteers, over 600 man hours were put in to complete the bandshell.
INFORMATION FURNISHED BY:
Debbie Charpentier, Archivist/Facility Mgr
The Millicent Library - Fairhaven