Salem Common Bandstand
Built - 1926
Salem is located 16 miles northeast of Boston being founded by Roger Conant who emigrated from Cape Ann, 14 miles northeast, in 1626. The city is known for a good number of notable facts and individuals who were citizens of the city. The first Congregational Church in America was organized there with Roger Williams, who founded the Rhode Island colony, being an early pastor. There are numerous other buildings in Salem that are still standing and are rich in colonial and federal architecture.
Salem's most notable citizen was the renowned writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who made Salem the setting for several of his novels, notably the House of the Seven Gables which still stands and was built by Captain John Turner in 1668.
Salem has the dubious distinction, and is best known, for the witchcraft trials held in 1642 by Judge Jonathan Corwin which led to the hanging of 19 persons.
In the heart of the city lies a large and attractive plot of land named the Salem Common which has bene public land since Salem's early days. Originally the higher ground was used as a pasture for cows and goats with another section bieng used as a practice shooting range for individuals to prepare for military duty. The East Regiment held its first muster on the Common which marked the beginning of the National Guard of the United States. The land was also used by local militia units from neighboring towns for parading in dress uniform from sections of the city to this common area.
Prior to 1845, the Salem Common was unenclosed where horses, cattle, duck, geese and hens would roam freely at will and of which had a very rural appearance. Towards the close of 1845, many people contributed money to have the land leveled and elms planted on each side of the walkways laid down with gates and arches built to beautify the park. In time the arches were torn down and wooden fences replaced by iron ones which are still standing since the citizens of Salem take great pride in their common.
The Salem Common Bandstand was built to commemorate Salem's Tercentenary Celebration in 1926. It is a very imposing structure with 8 columns supporting a domed roof. Not much information is available on the bandstand other than it being rededicated on July 4, 1976, during our Nation's Bi-Centennial in memory of Mr. Jean M. Missud, 1878-1941, who was the conductor of the famed Salem Cadet Band and musically contributed greatly to the city of Salem with this honor bestowed upon his memory by the Salem Cultural Arts Commission.