The Blanche Honegger Moyse Bandstand
Built - 1901
Brattleboro has always been a very unique place to live and visit being considered to be the "Hub of New England" in that it is easily accessed from Interstate 91 and close to the Massachusetts border to the south, the state of New Hampshire in the east and the wonderful recreational areas of the Green Mountains to the west. Brattleboro itself offers an extraordinary variety of outdoor activities, entertainment, arts and shopping.
Brattleboro also became the "Organ Capital of America" from the early 1870s to the mid 1950s when the Estey Organ Company was founded. The company employed as many as 500 gifted craftsmen in the area and marketed over 500,000 of its reed organs in its history to countries as far away as New Zealand. The prosperity of the Estey family also funded other enterprises in Brattleboro including bands and a sewing machine company.
The city is also known as the birthplace of Richard Morris Hunt who has been credited as being one of the first American architests to design a bandstand. He designed his bandstands in 1849 while being a student in Paris. His designs were, however, not readily accepted in America at that time since they were way ahead of our country's idea as to how a bandstand should look since we evidently had a lack of his enthusiasm for elaborate designs. However, Mr. Hunt was successful in this country in other projects including the base of the Statue of Liberty, W. K. Vanderbilt's houses in New York and Newport, Rhode Island, and teh entrance to New York City's Central Park.
Brattleboro's first bandstand in the north endo f town on the common was completed in 1902 and has a hexagonal structure to it originally having cedar shakes before it was replaced with slate, a flagpole on top, railings on all six sides and electric lights around the ceiling. Baffle partitions were added later on to improve the acoustics of the structure.
The bandstand has a long history of use with many band concerts and speeches performed on it for over 100 years now. In 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt spoke on it. In the 1940s, Dorothy Hamour sold war bonds on it and in 1987, Vice President Geoge Bush spoke on it while campaigning for the presidency.
On September 23, 1999, the Brattleboro selectmen passed a resolution to name the bandstand the Blanche Honegger Moyse Bandstand in honor of Mrs. Moyse who had been a life-long prominent citizen of the town, and the selectmen also wished to honor her on then her 90th birthday.