Barnstead Parade Bandstand
Barnstead Parade Grounds
Built - 1924

The rural New Hampshire town of Barnstead boasts an ever-growing population of 4,000 residents as of this writing in 1999. When the town was settled, it was named after the first syllable of Barnstable, Massachusetts and the second syllable of Hampstead, New York evidently since the town's founding fathers had some sort of connection with each of these two towns.
The town itself is very quiet and unassuming and is proud to have been one of the residences of the renowned fiction author and award-winner, Russell Banks, who has lived in a number of other New England and Jamaican residences with the variety of places, including Barnstead's contributing to the richness of his writings.
Barnstead's first bandstand, the Barnstead Parade Bandstand, is located about a mile or so from the center of town and the other bandstand which still remains standing. It is situated on a large plot of land known as the Parade Grounds which is used as a staging area for town parades and other community functions. The bandstand is strategically located in the area of the grounds which can hold a large group of people for summer concerts which started after the bandstand was built in 1924.
Information about the bandstand is very sketchy with a few facts available on the structure with the only source now being from some of the elder residents who believe that the bandstand was built in 1923 or 1924, not long after World War 1 had ended. At that time, a local bands was formed which became very active in the area. A Mr. John Jenkins, who was the rural mail carrier and a member and leader of the local band at that time, contributed to the building of this structure and the other bandstand in Barnstead Center.
The structure is a very simple wooden octagonal one with a low base and plain board sides, posts and roof. Since the bandstand in the center of town is no longer being used, the Barnstead Parade Bandstand is the number one bandstand and still serves a great function for the community.

David Ruell, President
Ashland NH Historical Society

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