Built - 1987
The small but vibrant town of Oxford, located in southern Worcester county, is now more of a residential community but at one time was a very active mill town with it being the home to many of the original Slater Mills, which had been an integral part of the Industrial Revolution in New England.
Oxford was also the home of such dignitaries as Clara Barton, who was the founder of the American Red Cross and Dr. Elliott P. Joslin, pioneer in the field of diabetes.
The town is a very good example of a real team effort in coming up with the idea of building a bandstand for their community. Committees to oversee this project, designing and gathering necessary voluntary funds, supplies and manpower to accomplish the goal, was done with such a wonderful spirit and teamwork from the townspeople. Originally, in October of 1986, the town's Founder's Day Committee felt the need for a permanent staging for performances during Founder's Day which is a big event in the town each year. After a number of meetings by town officials and other people interested in the project, the idea of building such a bandstand was agreed upon unanimously. Six months later on April 11th, the town's dream became a reality and groundbreaking commenced. The Oxford Middle School Band became the last band to play on Joslin Park prior to the construction of a permanent structure. Into May and June, the bandstand took shape and work progressed at a steady pace with fancy workmanship done especially on the pointed roof structure which is the bandstand's strong point which sets it apart from others.
The bandstand's cost ran to $20,000 and the style was copied from an existing bandstand located in Lyndon, Vermont. The dedication of the Oxford Bandstand took place on July 12, 1987 during Founder's Day and after a number of speakers, the award-winning Oxford High School Band played for the large crowd. However, days before the dedication was to come about, the town's veterans of the Vietnam War felt that the bandstand should be dedicated to them and the question was put on the town election ballot but was defeated. The volunteer bandstand committee which had raised the money from contributions, took exception to the vets suggesting it be dedicated to them and not to the town itself and a bit of hostility between the two camps arose but soon blew over in time.
The town is quite proud of their bandstand, as they very well should be, since it is a magnificent structure and was built with much tender loving care and has been beautifully maintained over the years.
INFORMATION FURNISHED BY:
Joyce Sirard, Chairman - Bandstand Committee