Bridegewater Veterans Memorial Gazebo
Built - 1996
The suburban community of Bridgewater is located approximately 25 miles south of Boston. The town was originally an industrial and agricultural center but now serves as a quiet residential town with a caring, friendly and small-town atmosphere. Bridgewater is home to Bridgewater State College which was founded in 1840 and is one of the oldest teacher preparation institutions in the United States.
Groundbreaking for the Bridgewater Veterans Memorial Gazebo was held on August 17, 1996 with the structure completed and dedicated three months later on November 11th. The Bridgewater Veterans Council had been the chief sponsor for this new bandstand and were the ones who solicited donations from local businesses and citizens of the area. Legion Field was the choice spot for the bandstand once sufficient funds were collected and the building got underway by builders Bill LaBossiere and Lenny Fernandies who were residents of the area. $8,000 was the targeted amount needed for construction and of which all was received due to rigorous work by the Bridgewater Veterans Coucil who felt that the town needed one to enjoy summer concerts and other community activities. Bridgewater did have another bandstand back in the 30s and 40s which was demolished since it was deemed too small and didn't have sufficient space for concerts. The Veterans Council felt that the new bandstand would be a great place for Veterans Day and other ceremonial events along with summer band concerts.
Originally the idea of having minimum security inmates from the Plymouth House of Corrections help in the building of the structure but the town decided to hire more professional help in the designing and building of the structure but thanked the Plymouth County Sheriff for offering the inmates' help to the community and their project.
Groundbreaking came about on August 21, 1996 with the Bridgewater Veteran's Council along with members of "C" Company of the 101st Division of the National Guard who proceeded to dig the ground for the initial foundation. Contributions poured in along with volunteer labor and after three months, the structure was finally dedicated on November 11th. This was a very proud moment for the town of Bridgewater.
The 24 X 24 foot white bandstand sits on a rise between the back of the Williams School and Bedford Street with a brick walkway circling the structure. The bandstand is illuminated by floodlights and is wired with a sound system. There is a memorial rock placed at a corner of the bandstand citing all the members of the Veteran's Council who so diligently made the table-sized model of the bandstand become a reality. This final location of the bandstand had been agreed upon by the Veterans Council and the Recreation Commission as the best available in the town. The dedication capped off Bridgewater's Tri-Town Veteran's Day Parade which ended up at their new bandstand.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Bridgewater Veterans Council