Built - 1918
The town of Pittsfield is nestled in the heart of the Suncook Valley along the Suncook River in south central New Hampshire and is known as the "Gem of the Suncook Valley" being still one of the loveliest and rural areas of the state. The town has a long historical/industrial legacy beginning with the settlement of the territory in 1768 by John Cram who immediately built his sawmill which milled local lumber and floating it downstream. Originally the town was a part of Chicester but became this separate town after lobbying by Mr. Cram and other early settlers and named after William Pitt who was one of Great Britain's most famous Prime Ministers.
In September of 1918, a contractor, J. H. Wood, was hired to design and build the Green Bandstand at a cost of $1,000 donated by Frank P. Green who was long associated with music in the town and was particularly known for his excellent bass voice. He had been affiliated with local bands in the area for over 20 years and thus had a great interest in the building of this structure.
The bandstand replaced an old wooden structure which had become dilapidated. The bandstand is octagonal in shape with a base of fieldstones and cement. A Japanese Pagoda roof, which is a distinctive feature of the structure, is supported by eight colonial pillars. The Pittsfield Power and Light Company immediately electrified it in those early years and kept a light burning all night at no cost to the town during a number of years after initially built.
The bandstand was presented to the town by then Superintendent of Schools - Frederick T. Johnson with many speeches then given and the American Band playing a number of popular selections to the large and enthusiastic crowd in attendance.
The bandstand remained a focal point in the community for many years and cared for quite well even when the park itself fell into disrepair. After 60 years of withstanding the abuse of wear and tear and the New England weather, tragedy struck in November of 1977 when two youths felled the pagoda roof after cutting the posts. After a total investigation, the youths were caught and sentenced to 12 months in the Merrimack County House of Corrections and two years of probation. The structure was ultimately repaired but has been used less and less each year with the park periodically showing a lack of care, unfortunately.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
Larry Berkson, Historian
Pittsfield Historical Society Inc.