Amesbury Town Park
Built - 1930
The modest farming community of Amesbury began its ascent into American industrial history once the rushing waters of the Powow River were released for the mills which then sprang up along its banks, The new and thriving town, it is believed, then became the site of the first American factory to produce machine-made nails. Shipbuilding and textile mills soon followed in the 19th century. From 1853 until into the 1900s, Amesbury carriages, renowned for their workmanship and style, were the economic heartbeat of the town. Also the Merrimack Hat Factory, during its peak years, produced more head gear than any of its competitors. Amesbury was also the site where the nation's number one candy, for a while, Hoyt's Buffalo Brand Peanut Butter Kisses, was produced.
One of New England's older bandstands still sits proudly in Amesbury's Town Park surrounded by tall pine trees and other vegetation. This structure has withstood the test of time but needs some restoration work, at this writing, and is thus rarely used, deemed unsafe.
Prior to this particular parcel of land being developed for the citizens of Amesbury, their band concerts would be held on their original bandstand built in 1920 but taken apart in 1927 after the wooden structure became unsafe.
This present bandstand's construction began in 1929 and completed a year later with its dedication ceremony held on August 7, 1930. The Park Commissioner at that time, Mr. Tucker, along with Caretaker Mr. Patrick Garland, oversaw the construction of the structure at a total cost of $3,750 with $1,500 going to two contractors and $750 for the design.
The bandstand sports a circular field stone base with a cement deck about 5 feet from ground level with the roof being supported by 7 tall columns which had been covered in copper when new making for a very stunning-looking structure at the onset. The base of the structure also has a side area for storage of benches below the deck. R. G. Watkins Construction Company built the base and E. W. & Paul Currier constructed the roof and columns. The design of the bandstand was done by the firm of Morse and Dickerson of Haverhill. All went well with the building process although contractor Paul Currier slipped and fell from the roof and was slightly injured.
Many hundreds of concerts have been held on the bandstand over the years during the summer months with the very first band being the Amesbury Cadet Band under the direction of Mr. Richard Wingate.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
Lawrence F. Hussey Sr.
Amesbury Historical Commission