"The Crown Jewel of Fitchburg"
Built - 1901
The "Crown Jewel of Fitchburg" or the "rotunda" on the edge of Mirror Lake, was erected in 1901 by Henry Coggshall who donated the land and park to the city in 1893. Eighteen years later, Mirror Lake was created as a park for all residents and visitors to enjoy. The flooding of the lake was a pet project of the Fitchburg Park Department in that year. The lake encompasses 8 acres on this 212.7 acre park and is used strictly for recreational purposes.
This first bandstand in Fitchburg was taken down and reassembled in 1930 by funds provided by the city and labor by the Government's WPA Program at that time. This particular bandstand was renovated more recently in 1991 by a million dollar grant and electricity was added.
All local bands have played here, especially the famous and old Fitchburg Military Band and the Fitchburg High School Band as well as many other local bands who also played in the adjoining dance pavilion.
This present bandstand is often called the "gazebo" and is maintained by state and city funds and the Friends of the Coggshall Park, a volunteer group.
There is a summer concert series each year now featuring a big band sound and funded by the Friends of Coggshall, Fitchburg Savings Bank and the Massachusetts Cultural Council which is administered by the Mayor's Council on the Arts. Some of the orchestras who have appeared on the bandstand have been "Magic Rainbow," "Jolly Kopperschmidts,""Frank Mangan," and "Crossroads," along with the U. S. Air Force Band.
In 1998 the Fitchburg Military Band had a special performance on the bandstand in celebration of its 130th year of existence with its first band concert being held on May 27, 1868.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Elizabeth Gardner, Volunteer Researcher
Fitchburg Historical Society