Bandstand on the Common
Built - 1998
In the early 1700s, a group of London proprietors established the town of Sutton in the well-watered valleys and fertile hilltops of the region in this part of Worcester County now called "The Blackstone Valley." Undaunted, these early settlers fought off Indians and established their farms with perserverance and hard work.
Years later, French Canadian workers built part of Sutton's Manchaug and Wilkinsonville villages into areas that developed cloth, hats and shuttle (devices that carry thread back and forth) industries while local farmers raised prize-winning cattle and groves of Sutton Beauty Apples. As years went on and the town grew, no Massachusetts town sent more of its native sons to fight for our country's independence than did Sutton.
The plans for a bandstand to be built on The Common were developed in 1996 after a Mr. Ron Annis had a vision to have a structure on common ground for all of the community to enjoy. Architect Russell Swinton Oatman was then contracted to design a structure that the town desired that would incorporate features from the town hall and the center church. After extensive research, Mr. Oatman developed drawings and a design that the town was quite pleased with. From that point on, the Bandstand Committee solicited residents of the town for donations through a mailing campaign as well as personal appeals for support from local businesses and defied all statistics with regard to fund raising by receiving an overwhelming return of $35,000 on the mailings and a large sum from the town's businesses. Enough money was left over after construction to also add benches and lights which were memorialized by inscriptions which recognized loved ones in the community. Also along with all of the financial support, materials labor and craftsmanship from many individuals were offered. The weather during the building phase of the structure was awful at times, but the committee and all individuals involved functioned well together with all being proud of their accomplishment of this fine structure upon completion.
The bandstand, just known as the Bandstand on the Common, is the first the town has had and is built with the finest of materials, with excellant acoustics and is handicapped accessible. Musical groups always remark on how they love the sound resonance. Local school bands and groups have used the structure as a focal point for their events. The bandstand has also been used for many weddings and is a favorite place for photo shoots.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Don Conley, Bandstand Committee