Tewksbury Common
Built - 1891

Tewksbury is a thriving and growing community in Massachusetts with a number of condos and 55 and over developments sprouting up. Its close proximity to the major highway of Route #495 draws many people to the community as well as Rte #38 which runs directly through the town and has many countless shopping opportunities as well as a wide variety of restaurants.
Tewksbury is most notably known as the site of the Tewksbury State Hospital which was built in 1852 as one of the first state "allmshouses" to care for the poor which had previously been carried out by the State's cities and towns. The hospital opened on May 1st of that year with a capacity for 500 but after the first week, had the population grow to 668 then quickly to 800. The hospital soon also admitted the "pauper insane" becoming the State's first facility to accept cases of chronic insanity.
The most famous patient during the 19th century was Anne Sullivan who later became the tutor and companion of Helen Keller. One of the buildings on today's Tewksbury State Hospital campus still bears the name of Ms. Sullivan.
In 1891 the town voted $150 to construct a bandstand. For years this ancient landmark stood where now the monument to the Gold Star Mothers is placed, and was later moved to its present location, still on Tewksbury Common. The bandstand has withstood many years of use and the severe New England weather and during its long history there were thoughts of tearing it down but always cooler heads prevailed and opposed such an action. It is one of the few remaining reminders of the many band concerts that have been held on its stage and long-time residents always look at it as a memento from years past.
The only other information known about the structure that at some point its 6 wooden stilts were removed with the structure lowered to meet the state's handicapped requirements with a ramp and steel gate running alongside it.
Elizabeth A. Carey, Town Clerk

No comments: