Gilford Village Field
Built - 1976
The town of Gilford was first settled in 1727 after Indian conflicts were resolved and was incorporated in 1812. As roads through the area were improved, mills, stores and other commercial ventures sprang up. After the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroads connected Meredith Bridge (now Laconia NH) Gilford residents had greater access to the capital - Concord. The then President of the railroad, Benjamin Kimball, built a summer home in Gilford in 1894 which is known as Kimball's Castle which is a building listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1975, the Gilford Bicentennial Commission decided to erect a bandstand on the Village Field as a permanent memento of our nation's bicentennial celebration. That open space which bordered their historic village had been purchased by the town ten years prior. During the Bicentennial year, in a town meeting, an appropriation of $15,000 was set aside for the bandstand and the Bicentennial celebrations.
Plans were then prepared by Prescott Lumber Company for a large octagonal structure that was relatively plain but did include a small crowning cupola with louvered sides with a roof of flared eaves. There was an attempt made to have high school students or the Army Corps of Engineers build the structure but these plans were unsuccessful, so contractor Bob Swett was hired. He built the bandstand in the summer of 1976 and the bandstand was then dedicated on August 29th.
The bandstand has been named the Weeks Bandstand in honor of one of the oldest and most prominent families in Gilford. The Gilford Community Band calls the bandstand its home after it was formed in 1978 and has boasted up to 60 members from high school freshmen to adults. Concerts are held every other Wednesday from 7:30PM throughout the summer and is usually a great draw.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
David Ruell, President
Ashland Historical Society