Princeton Common
Built - 1992

The town of Princeton was incorporated in 1759 and named after the Reverend Thomas Prince who was the pastor of the Old South Church in Boston and one of the founding fathers in the town. The town has had an interesting past and both old and new residents are proud of its heritage and a novelist in 1876, Helen Hunt Jackson, called Princeton the "Hide & Seek Town."
Before the town was even settled in 1675, a Mary Rowlandson, of nearby Lancaster, was ransomed upon the town's "Redemption Rock" from the Indian Chief King Philip after eleven weeks of captivity. During the American Revolution, Princeton sent its own company of Minutemen out and the town became one of the hotbeds of dissention that caused the famous Shay's Rebellion in 1786.
In the 1800s, Princeton had its greatest period with famous residents including Edward Savage, the painter who was renowned for his portraits of Washington and his family; J. G. Whittier visited friends in the town and immortalized Mount Wachusett in a poem. Also in those early days, 8 trains came through the town each day bringing hundreds of summer visitors to the many hotels and boarding houses. During those "seasons" many famous guests stayed at the hotels including Louisa May Alcott, Sarah Bernhardt, Lydia Pinkham, the Harpers of the famous magazine and Thomas Edison. But once the automobile arrived, vacation habits changed and the town turned into the quaint country village it is today.
After some discord about a bandstand structure being built on the Princeton Common, one was finally built and completed in 1992 by Wood Visions of Derry, New Hampshire with foundations by Culter Foundations and Emmanuel Occhipinti doing the stone work. A Mr. Richard R. Sjolander was the primary mover for the project and, through private donations, the bandstand was built at a cost of about $10,000. The style is of a Colonial Revival one and is octagonal with an eight faceted wood-shingled roof. It was built with white-painted cedar and is about 16 feet in diameter and rests on a fieldstone-faced concrete base. It has bracketed posts, and basket-weave balustrades around the base which gives it a 19th century character that is well suited with other buildings around the town common.
The bandstand has played host to weddings and at least three concerts every summer. The residents are quite happy with it since it adds to their common area but there was some concern about it prior to being built.

Keith Chenot, Blue Pen

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