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Belmont returns 1908 bandstand to like-new condition, appearance

BELMONT – Organizers of the historic bandstand dedication described the event Sunday afternoon as "memorable," saying it was well attended and a lot of fun for those who came.

Linda Frawley, the Chair of the Belmont Heritage Commission, said Belmont Village "looked like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting."

Sunday's dedication gave Selectmen and members of the Heritage Commission the opportunity to thank all of the people throughout the state who helped in the restoration effort -- either through doing research, grant writing or providing labor -- for their efforts on the bandstand.

Frawley said retired N.H. Architectural Historian James Garvin gave the key remarks by giving the attendees a history of Belmont's bandstand, bandstands in general, and how they contributed to the town's communities.

The Belmont Village bandstand was built in 1908.

She said he noted that in 1908 one of the most popular songs in the country was "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" and in Belmont the town was able to reduce its debt by $177.05. A pool table license cost $10.

"It was almost a retrospective," Frawley said.

Frawley said yesterday the first recent effort to restore the bandstand came from Whitman Ide in the 1970s who led the effort to get the bandstand listed on the N.H. Historic Register.

She said Garvin had kept all of the notes from Ide's work and it was partially from them the Heritage Commission was able to restore the bandstand to its former glory.

Along with moving it, recent efforts have been to build a concrete slab upon which to settle the structure and have restored it to the condition and color scheme from 1908.

Town Historian Wallace Rhodes said "everyone in town is impressed by it."

He said people were a little taken aback initially by the late Victorian-era paint scheme, but have since told him how much they like the rust and green.

"People alive today had never seen it anything but white," he said.

Rhodes and Frawley said they wanted to thank everyone that made made Sunday possible, especially all of the young people, including choruses from Canterbury and Belmont Elementary Schools and the Boy Scouts who came to Belmont to celebrate the bandstand.

"It was hot," said Rhodes, "but it was a pretty good event."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 01:00

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Governor responds to N.H. Wind Watch criticism

by Thomas P. Caldwell

CONCORD — Governor Maggie Hassan through her press secretary on Friday responded to criticism of her choices for one of the public positions on the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee.
The governor had nominated Senator Bob Odell, with Representative Amanda Merrill as alternate, for one of the two public seats; the other is to be filled by an attorney. N.H. Wind Watch, a citizens' group opposed to wind farms, criticized the choice because of Odell's advocacy of a wind project in Lempster and because they did not feel that a politician would properly represent the public interest.
Press Secretary William Hinkle in a statement said, "As Governor Hassan works to diversify our energy sources, improve reliability and reduce energy costs, she remains committed to strengthening efforts to ensure that the voices of local communities are heard throughout the siting process. The new makeup of the Site Evaluation Committee helps ensure that the siting process for new energy projects includes the views of local communities and protects what makes our state special.
"As well-respected, retiring legislators, Bob Odell and Amanda Merrill have invaluable experience representing the views of the public on the important issues that face the SEC, including their work as members of energy and environment committees. Governor Hassan believes that their experience, temperament, and commitment to fairness will be assets as we pursue an energy strategy that will reduce costs and pollution, create jobs and improve reliability and diversity while protecting the natural resources that define us as a state."
New Hampshire Wind Watch is mobilizing to kill the Odell nomination when it goes before the Executive Council on Oct. 1.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Police looking for transient accused of lewdness in park

LACONIA — Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of a Concord transient named Donald King for the crime of indecent exposure and lewdness.

After a month-long investigation, police determined King is allegedly a the man who exposed himself to several juveniles at 4:15 p.m. on September 1, near the Opechee Point Beach.

King is know to drive a greenish 1998 Ford Explorer with the N.H. Plate number of 3459982. He was last known to be living in his car in the Concord area.

He is a registered sex offender, having been convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault on a child who was under 13-years old.

Police said the incident is still under investigation and ask any one who knows of King's whereabouts or have any knowledge of the incident to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 September 2014 12:16

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Work on Belmont's new Tioga Pavilion progressing; Sunday celebration will focus on bandstand resoration

BELMONT — The final touches on a portion of the Village Restoration Project are well underway as Tioga Pavilion construction continues during the recent nice stretch of weather.

Across Mill Street, a master craftsman works on the newly restored Village Bandstand roof, carefully recreating the patterns determined by restorers to be the same as the original.

The bandstand restoration and the Tioga Pavilion construction are part of the multi-phase village project that has revamped Main Street, allowed for two new parks, and replaced much of the sewer and water system throughout the center of town.

The pavilion and the footbridge moved from Dover, are being funded by the a $99,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and between $10,000 and $15,000 a town capital reserve fund.

The pavilion will be 26-feet by 80-feet and built on a 4-inch cement slab. It is right next to the Belmont Mill and will be used for outdoor functions, concerts, and community events.

It will have two bathrooms and enclosed storage area and will have electricity available to it.

Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin described it as an open carriage-house design. With the construction engineer hailing from Gilford and one of the design partners coming from Belmont, she said it's a really local effort.

The final restoration stages of the Village Bandstand are ongoing and Historic Preservation Specialist J. R. Graton of Northfield is replacing the shingles in the original diamond pattern.

"Each of those shingles has to be handcut," said Land Use Technican Rick Ball.

On Sunday local leaders, state officials and members of the preservation community will salute restoration of the historic Belmont Bandstand at at 1:30 p.m. ceremony.

Second District Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, Plymouth State University faculty member and retired State Architectural Historian James Garvin are among participants, with representatives from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance.

The family-friendly and free event features combined choruses of the Canterbury Elementary and Belmont Middle Schools directed by Carlos Martinez, with seasonal refreshments including specialties from the Student Hospitality Club of Lakes Region Community College Culinary Arts Program.

Restoration of the 1908 Bandstand began last October and continued this year, with funding for repainting and a new cedar shake roof supported by an LCHIP matching grant. Historical restoration specialist J.R. Graton of Northfield, painter John Thompson of Alexandria, architectural conservator Brian Powell of Building Conservation Associates, and traditional stonewall builder Kevin Fife of Canterbury — with initial help from Cullen Concrete of Tilton and Busby Contractors of Atkinson has comprised "a first rate team for the project" according to Heritage Commission chairman Linda Frawley.


CULINE: JR Graton, a historical preservation specialist from Northfield, carefully cuts and lays in shingles yesterday as part of the historic bandstand restoration project.

CUTLINE: Work continues on the Tioga Pavilion next to the Belmont Mill yesterday.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 September 2014 12:10

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