The Holden Bandstand
Built - 1993

The town of Holden started out being called Wildersburgh in 1780 but was changed to Holden by Captain Joseph Thomson. The town initially was a rural farming area but has since grown into a community-spirited municipality. In June of 1951, Holden adopted a Selectmen-Town Manager form of government and remains as one of the oldest form of it in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at this time.
At a town meeting in May of 1992, a permanent gift for the town's 250th anniversary was approved. A park was voted on to be developed on property in front of the Bubar Building on Main Street and the 250th Anniversary Committee raised $14,000 for the landscaping which soon featured a new bandstand. No tax money was requested at the town meeting.
The new bandstand was built and ready for use in September of 1993 and turned out to be a well-built structure with a tonge-and-groove pine inner ceiling which lent to excellent acoustics and also featured a public address system and lighting along with a "cable television" ready system which would broadcast concerts on Holden's public access cable channel.
Talks of a new bandstand for Holden had taken place for several years, according to Selectman Roy Fraser III, but the discussions normally stopped whenever the funding for the facility came up. Holden did have another bandstand next to the old Holden High School Athletic Field 40 years prior which was comprised of a simple platform and lighting, when needed, generated by automobile headlights parked around the site.
The Holden Bandstand's financing was made possible by much time devoted by the members of the 250th Permanent Gift Committee, chaired by Sue B. McNamara with the money raised through the selling of cookbooks, 250th commemorative plates and other fund-raisers. Donations were also received from other organizations such as the Holden Trowel Club and individual residents of the town.
Construction of the bandstand became a community-wide effort with donations of time by its residents and materials from contractors with the number of donors in the hundreds. Even before the first nail was hammered, the bandstand committee members braved snow and cold weather to measure and study bandstand designs from nearby communities.
The bandstand has become the centerpiece of a "community park" that has benches and maple and sycamore trees and various other flowering trees. The bandstand itself was designed with top quality materials for low maintenance in the future and with expansion in mind.

Rebecca Leonard, Local Historian
Gale Free Library

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