Alton Bay
Built - 1928

Alton Bay is home to a very interesting bandstand that sits in the middle of the bay coming into existence when a group of local men formed a racing association with their idea of racing speed and other boats on Lake Winnipesaukee where Alton Bay is located. These initial association men included Lester Downing, Harry Jones, Ralph Stevens, Edward Sowing and Martin & Steve Lynch.
These adventurous men in 1928 decided that a bandstand would be useful for band concerts for people coming into beautiful Alton Bay by boat and as a judging stand for their races. During the winter, when the lake was frozen, the men built a crib on top of a rock ledge which had been marked by a flagpole previously. The ledge was then filled with rocks and a foundation poured onto it. A Mr. Olie Barnes of Alton was hired to construct the bandstand with the help of the racing committee and a number of volunteers. The bandstand was completed that same year at a cost of $893.30 in cash and another $679.80 worth of labor, materials, and "the use of teams and trucks" which was donated. The bandstand was funded by a town appropriation, donations and whist parties.
As time went on however, the logistics of moving a band and its instruments to and from the bandstand proved too difficult particularly after an evening concert when the band had to be transported back to shore in the dark and thus ceased to be used for that reason.
The bandstand and its underwater foundation, were restored in 1989 but the bandstand has been sitting in the bay idly now just as a reminder of days past when these boat races drew thousands of people on shore through the 1950s.
Alton Bay's bandstand is still a landmark in the area and is adorned with a Christmas tree with lights in the winter which is always a pleasurable sight for all to see cominton into town. A second bandstand on the shore was built in 1947 and has been used for concerts ever since.
Patricia C. Merrill, President
Alton Historical Society

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