Built - 1970
Skowhegan boasts about being the crossroads of Maine and the birthplace and life-long home of Senator Margaret Chase Smith. It is also proud to be considered the heart of central Maine and the jumping off point for Maine's north woods, the beginning of the historic Canada Road and the watching place for Native American salmon fishermen.
The residents consider themselves as vibrant, peaceful, friendly and optimistic people who are very hard-working and hold dear their cultural center for area artists and craftspeople. They also enjoy their summer concerts in Coburn Park where the site of their second bandstand sits and their other bandstand shell is also located, as shown above, unusable since it is located in a small plot of land below a steep hill.
Coburn Park was originally known as the "Russell Lot," owned by former Governor Abner S. Coburn and his brother Philander Coburn. They originally donated half of the beautifully laid out park to the town in 1885, and the other half 20 years later. The brothers' property was an ideal spot for a park for the town of Skowhegan since it was a shady glen for strollers with a pond to picnic around.
The older of the two bandstands on this property, built in 1970 by Lawrence Sylvain, was always considered to be in a very charming setting but was immediately protested by people attending summer concerts who felt it difficult sitting comfortably on the side of a hill. The acoustics were also always unacceptable since quiet parts of the music couldn't be heard, and musicians roasted in the old structure that was built totally in concrete. Finally in 2000, the Coburn Park Concert Series was given a new home in a larger 20' octagon-shaped gazebo, as it is called, on level ground in the shade.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
"Lest We Forget" - Barbara Merrill Fox, author