Warren Town Common
Built - 1976
The lower central Massachusetts town of Warren was founded by Solomon Keys in 1715. From the town's inception, it was virtually just a farming town with 90% of the males pursuing this livelihood until the alluring waters of the nearby Quaboag River served as an incentive for woolen, cotton and grist mills to develop in the area in the 1800s. Other notable enterprises in Warren included Knowles Steam Pump Works, J & J. E. Moore Mfg who were the first to market ebony writing ink. Later on in the 1900s Perkins Machine Company, Warren Fabrics and William E. Wright & Sons - makers of 64 ft inch diameter parachutes for the Armed Forces, employed many of the town's residents.
From the onset, the new settlers were made up of hard-working men who became dedicated to this New World and answered the call during the American Revolution with 43 of them, led by CPT Reuben Roes, marching to Roxbury, after that famous battle had taken place in Lexington/
Also in the 1700s, Shay's Rebellion insurgents, who had waged war in western Massachusetts in opposition to high taxes and stringent economic conditons, marched through Warren under military escort. General Henry Knox also marched through Warren, later on in the century, with a cannon that had been captured by Ethan Allen at Fort Ticonderoga in upperstate New York. Nathan Reed, who was a resident of the area, was also a notable figure in the 18th century since he invented the steamboat 18 years prior to Fulton.
To replace an earlier bandstand that had graced the Warren Town Common from 1870 to 1950, the 1976 Bicentennial Commission set out to build a new structure which the town obviously needed. The commission hired John Rainka, who wa a Warren resident and a teacher of woodcrafts in the school department, who designed and built the structure. Prior to pouring the cement floor foundation, the Commission thought of the idea of sinking a time capsule to be opened in 50 years.
The financing of the $16,500 project was made possible through the following: $7,000 from town appropriation; $4,500 from the Massachusetts Historical Commission; and $5,000 individual contributions and fund raising projects including the sale of candy bars, flea markets, dances and concerts.
The finished bandstand was dedicated in a special ceremony on July 4th to honor and commemorate the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution by local and state politicians, the Bicentennial Commission members and Warren residents and visitors.
The most important events to date that have taken place on the bandstand have been vigils for the teenaged Molly Bish, who was abducted from her lifeguard position at Comins Pond on July 27th, 2000 and following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Pennsylvania, local residents were invited to sign a Banner of Hope at the bandstand to be sent to the firemen of New York City.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Syliva G. Buck, Director of Warren Public Library
Richard Norman, Bicentennial Commission