Edwin Eugene Bagley Bandstand
Central Square
Built - 1978

In 1735 Keene, originally known as Upper Ashuelot, was first granted incorporation for soldiers in wars against Canada. The new settlement was initially planned on being a fort town but this never took place. When its borders became established once New Hampshire and Massachusetts lines were drawn, it became one of the largest in New England. The town was soon named Keene in honor of Sir Benjamin Keene of England who was an associate of Governor Wentworth, a Spanish West Indies trader. In 1873 the town became a city. Keene is proud to be the home of Keene State College.
Keene's bandstand was built on Central Square in 1978 and was named the Edwin Bagley Bandstand. Mr. Bagley was from the area and wrote "The National Emblem March." Keene's original bandstand was demolished around the mid 20th century and this present bandstand was fashioned as much as possible like the previous one.
MacMillen Company built the bandstand and oversaw the work from many volunteer contractors with funds raised by the Chamber of Commerce. The structure was built with the dimensions of the Common in mind and the bandstand's physical relationship to the fountain and statue nearby. However, as a result, the bandstand's platform turned out to be slightly too small in size and some of the larger bands have to perform on the lawn beside it.
The bandstand was built to bring back musical presentations on the Common which had been missing for many years. Upon completion, the bandstand was dedicated by First Lady Rosalyn Carter on October 24th, 1979 while she was visiting the area.
The bands most often scheduled to perform on the bandstand are Westmoreland Town Band and the Keen Gordo-Bissell Post American Legion Band. Also the city uses the structure as its venue for the Keene Pumpkin Festival, Keene Ice and Snow Festival and Memorial Day programs.

Brian A. Mattson, Director
Parks & Facilities

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