Jaffrey Town Common
Built - 1895
Jaffrey is located at the very base of the famous Grand Monoadnock Mountains of New Hampshire and features three lakes and a rolling countryside which has always been very alluring to vacationers. Thus hiking, mountain climbing and water sports abound in this very scenic area of the state.
The town is also gifted with a bandstand that has stood the test of time for over one hundred plus years now, being built in 1895, and of which has a very unusual history. In the beginning and for many years, every Tuesday and Saturdays a local band would play for the townspeople. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Rindge Band played on the bandstand in the common. Some of the names of the gifted band members included Dominick Areci, Frederick Towne, William Naramore, Bertrand Wheeler and Rick Charlonee, to name a few. During World Wars 1 and 2 the bandstand remained somewhat idle. The idea of band concerts on the Common then ceased and in the early 1950s, a Mr. Frederick Bernier moved the structure to his property nearby renting it to Chester Abercrombie who operated a Richfield Gas Station and a very small store. When Mr. Abercrombie's business failed, the bandstand was rented to Elliot Antognoni of Winchendon, Massachusetts who operated a fry shop on the structure and sold tasty Italian grinders. A few years later, the bandstand was leased to William Shearer who turned the structure into The Hexagon Shop where his son, Jonathan, sold furniture and some gift items.
The store then operated for two summers then was used strictly as a storage house until a few years later when the bandstand was involved in yet another move, this time directly across the street by David Kemp who proceeded to board up the sides of the structure making it a small barn for local children to play in then later used it strictly to house pigs.
In 1986 the bandstand made its third move but this time to its original location on the Jaffrey Common. This was made possible through the generosity of Norman Peard who donated a flatbed truck and of Andrew Webber and Wayne Cooke who restored it in two months and who still refurbish the bandstand's woodwork to this day. The bandstand was then used solely as a landmark and to add to the picturesque beauty of the common area until a few years ago when the Monadnock Bank, now the Bank of New Hampshire, as of this writing, decided to sponsor band concerts once again to the delight of the citizens of the town. Different bands from around the region now play every other Wednesday evenings during the summer months.
Through all of this, the bandstand has remained intact thus reinforcing the statement "what goes around, comes around!!!"
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
Sheila Vanderhorst, Asst Librarian