Series: Bandstands - Town Square
"The new bandstand being erected in the park will be a thing of beauty and we hope a joy forever..." "It also marks the culmination of another epoch of public improvement."
These words from the 1908 Charles City Daily Intelligencer testify to the importance of the town bandstand as a public amenity during the early decades of the 20th-century. The bandstand on the town square or in the public park has become one of the iconic images of small-town America for the simple reason that it is true.
In these decades, most towns had two venues for popular entertainments - the local opera house and the town band stand. The opera house was usually owned by a wealthy individual or a group of investors and featured entertainments for which admission was charged. The bandstand, on the other hand, was the property of the community and featured entertainments that were free to the public. For many of these towns, the bandstand represented one of their first and most significant investments in cultural amenities.
Perhaps, the most iconic image of the bandstand is one located on the town square.