Sanbornton bandstand gets makeover
SANBORNTON — Thanks to a resident's donations and work from students at the Sant Bani School, the town's bandstand is being restored.
Town officials aren't sure how old the bandstand is, but its abutting buildings — the old Town Hall and the town library — were built in the early 1800s, according to Town Administrator Bob Veloski.
In recent years, the bandstand fell into disrepair. Many of its wooden beams are rotting, its sills and drainage system needs work, and its electrical system needs to be replaced, said Priscilla Bodwell, a former town historical society member who is donating more than $2,000 in her husband's name to pay most of the rebuilding costs.
Bodwell's late husband, Bob, was a town selectman and a lover of historic sites, she said. He had a particular fondness for the bandstand, as his father used to conduct the town band for weekly summer concerts in the early part of the 20th century, she said.
“It was special to him as it is to all of us,” Bodwell said.
When he died in 2006, Bodwell set up the Robert M. Bodwell Memorial Fund to pay for the bandstand work. Bodwell has given $1,000 to town workers to repair the electrical system and $500 for building materials. She will be giving another $500 or so when the project is finished, she said.
Among the people rebuilding the bandstand are 15 members of the Sant Bani School's senior class who have been donating their time as part of a senior class project. Other groups and organizations in town have made donations as well, Veloski said.
Despite the bandstand's poor condition, the Moulton Band and others had been performing on the bandstand. Now, though, it is closed for the restoration work.
Bodwell said the goal is to have the bandstand rebuilt in time for Christmas.
“We hope to have a Christmas tree with lights there at Christmastime,” she said.