Built - 1894
Belmont is a small town in lower central New Hampshire not too far from Laconia and Lake Winnipesaukee to the north. The town was once a very thriving mill town due to its proximity to the Tioga River and such industry had been a very important staple to the town and that area as so noted on the town seal. The area still draws in many tourists due to three highways running through the town which have been designated as Scenic Byways. Belmont was also home to William Badge who served two consecutive terms as New Hampshire's Governor begining in 1834. The town thus has a rich history and holds true that it is the "Best Town by a Damn Site."
In Belmont's Bandstand Park sits the Belmont Bandstand completed on November 26, 1894 as stenciled on its side and of which has its twin in Millford, New Hampshire. It is believed that this long-lasting structure was financed by the local mill and by public subscription with Mr. Everett Dow as its architect. The bandstand is one of the best surviving Victorian structures in the state andd is an ornate octagonal one with a high latticework base. It is adorned with turned posts with sawn brackets, a frieze of turned balusters, and a tall wooden shingled roof with flared eaves. The structure has had little changes over the 100+ years of its existence and has only been refurbished from time to time with the latest project in 1976 being to replace the cedar shingles on its pointed roof.
The original finial, or ornamental topping has been missing for some time probably lost during one of those severe New England storms. Special features of the bandstand include the center of the floor being built higher than the edges by around 4" for better viewing from ground level. The railing has been creatively designed whereby the struts pattern into the grooves which makes for a stunning look around the bandstand. This structure is so ornate and well built that it is in the National Register.
The bandstand has been built on the land where the local mill had been but was moved further back from Main Street to its current site in Bandstand Park when the library was built in 1927.
The local school bands, along with many others, play on a regular basis during the summer months with the bandstand also playing host to the town's "Old Home Day." Also a few notables have appeared on the structure in the past including Stiles Bridges, Colonel Robert LaFlair and a number of Governors and political figures from the state.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Mary Bognaski, Town Librarian