Ben Mere Bandstand
The Ben Mere Park
Built - 1987
The lakefront town of Sunapee is situated on the western coast of Lake Sunapee in southern New Hampshire and has been a favorite gathering place for both winter and summer sports enthusiasts due to the beautiful lake and nearby Mount Sunapee. The town thus offers a stopover point for lovers of the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire. Also the town's growth of seasonal residents has increased over the years with the building of a large number of new homes and condo units since the area is so beautiful, peaceful and serene and an ideal place to live.
In this vein, the town of Sunapee's Board of Selectmen decided to initiate improvements in roads and sidewalks in the area as well as a plan to make the center of town look more attractive. Also the town decided to raise necessary monies to buy the land where the Ben Mere Inn had stood from the 1890s on until its demise in 1971. A committee of volunteer townspeople got the necessary amount to purchase the lot and donated it to the town in 1977. That parcel of land was then turned into a recreational area and green site and called the Ben Mere Park. This particular project was completed with financial assistance from the voters at a town meeting and with the help of the Department of Recreation and Economic Development of New Hampshire.
Ten years later in 1987, the idea of having a bandstand was embraced by the Ben Mere Committee and proposed to the town selectmen who immediately endorsed the project and necessary funds were procured. The architect and builder, Nick Scalera, was hired and drew up the plans for the structure of which was styled after the previous Ben Mere Inn.
By the middle of the summer, the bandstand came to fruition and was dedicated in a special ceremony on Wednesday, August 19th with many attending including the then Governor of New Hampshire, John Sununu who dedicated the bandstand to "The Constitution of the United States of America in its Bicentennial Year." After a number of speeches from the new structure, the nearby Springfield Community Band played an hour-long concert with selections of those from several nations typifying the "mix" of nationalities found in America.
The residents of Sunapee believe that their bandstand and park fulfill their dream that the area will continue to be a favorite recreational center and help to ensure pleasure and enjoyment for many years to come for them and visitors to the area alike.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Patricia Hand, Abbott Library