Built - 1915
The town of Ashford is located in the northern section of Connecticut on land purchased from the local tribe of Native Americans in 1684 and later settled by four families in 1710. The town developed quickly because it was located on the original thoroughfare between the large cities of Hartford and Boston. Due to its prime location, industry thus thrived for many years after the War of 1812 with woolen and tin factories and most notably the Westford Glass Company which was founded in 1857. This world-renowned glass-blown factory remained open until 1873.
Ashford's bandstand was built in 1915 according to town records, after a parcel of land was purchased by Roscoe H. Wright of Ashford and the Babcock Band, also of Ashford. One dollar rent was charged yearly from that point on for the term of ninety nine years for the 30 square feet of land to be used solely for band concerts for the townspeople and other visitors with no other structure to be built other than the bandstand. After Mr. Wright passed away, the property was sold and the bandstand remained on this sight until the mid 1970s when it was moved to its present location on the Old Ashford Town Common.
The Babcock Cornet Band was organized in 1862 and was named after the founder, Archibald Babcock, who, upon his death, left $46,000 to the town for a library and a "band of music." Today's band is made up of 10 to 15 members between the ages of 13 to near 80, as of this writing, and is currently led by its first female conductor, Jaimie Beers-Hall.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY:
Barbara B. Metsack, Town Clerk