Westminster Town Common
Built - 1968
The town of Westminster started out as a poor agrarian community with land grants given to veterans and heirs of veterans of King Phillip's War in 1728. The area had formerly been used by Indians for hunting and fishing until settlement took place in 1737. From that point on, farming, sawmill and grain mills and shops started popping up in the area. The town then became a bustling industrial community with chair manufacturing as its chief occupation along with paper and textile mills and brick making.
Westminster is an attractive place to live with close-knit neighborhoods in a rural setting with its citizens valuing this setting along with the historic character of their town.
The town's bandstand was built in the Town Common in 1968 and is the first one the town has had. Dolly Dawley and the Music Committee of the Westminster's Woman's Club were the ones responsible for the planning and eventual building of the structure for town band concerts. Public donations were solicited by the Woman's Club and other organizations. However, the monies raised was not enough but in a town meeting, additional funds needed were added.
The bandstand was built with a storage area underneath for equipment and when Mass Electric was asked to put in electrical outlets and connections, Dolly Dawley insisted that the wiring be laid underground so as not to affect the aesthetics of the common area.
The Westminster Town Band calls the bandstand their home and performs every Wednesday evening during the summer along with other local bands. Every Memorial Day a program is held on the bandstand at the conclusion of the Memorial Day parade and march up Academy Hill to the Common. Also, the bandstand is used for weddings and other photo opportunities after permission from the town is granted.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Betsy Hannula, Curator
Westminster Historical Society