Built - 1915
Petersham boasts its being ranked 3rd in size in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and having a wealth of conservation land including thousands of acres of the state's drinking water in the Quabbin Reservation. Many buildings are still standing in town which date back to the early nineteenth century and are located near the village center and elegant town common. The residents of Petersham are quite exuberant and desirous to preserve the beauty around them.
Their bandstand on the common is also very dear to them, being built way back in August of 1915 and of which was donated by Mrs. W.W. Stewart of Springfield who had been a native of the town. She donated $1,000 for the building of the structure and decorations and dedicated the bandstand to the town on August 17th. During that wonderful Sunday afternoon, the local band was present in their shiny new uniforms, which were paid for by summer residents and others, at a cost of $400, and played for the very enthusiastic crowd in attendance. On that day, the audience heard such selections as "Nearer My God To Thee," "War Eagle March," "Pontifical" overture and "Inspiration," among others. A number of town officials also gave speeches. The splendid bandstand was built by Mr. E. G. Harwood, a very gifted local crafstman, who died two years later.
Petersham's bandstand has been a symbol of the community life for many years and is both still a landmark and an oasis of entertainment for the citizens of the town and a spot from which and around many community affairs have been generated over the many years of its existence.
The residents of Petersham have thus revered their bandstand and concerts and on July 24, 1986, they held their 600th band concert and continue to record each one these days. There has thus never been a lack of effort and interest in renovating the structure whenever needed, and many people are quick to add either funding or labor to keep their bandstand in good shape.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
Dick Chaisson, Athol Town Historian