Maine’s oldest bandstand undergoing repairs

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Repairs are being made to the historic Meetinghouse Park gazebo. Farmington contractor Mike Bolduc is expected to complete the repairs in the next few weeks. (Dee Menear/Franklin Journal)

FARMINGTON — The 144-year old gazebo in Meetinghouse Park is getting a much-needed facelift.

“We are currently replacing the floor and benches. The floorboards and joists were beginning to deteriorate and break. With frequent repairs by our staff, we decided to finally replace the entire floor,” said Matt Foster, director of Parks and Recreation.

The construction is being completed by Farmington contractor Mike Bolduc. According to Foster, Bolduc is working closely with the Town to keep the repairs as historic as possible.

Barbara Merrill Fox, author of “Lest We Forget, Band Stands of Maine, An Illustrated History” refers to the structure as the oldest Maine bandstand still in existence, noted Foster.

“We are being careful to meticulously maintain and repair the gazebo,” he said.

Bolduc has replaced several joists underneath to stabilize the floor and used spruce decking with a solid stain to help prevent future deterioration, explained Foster. The replacement benches will be built with custom ordered pine that will match the original length and width.

The project is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, said Foster.

The next big project on tap for the park will be a rebuild of the Honor Roll Memorial.

“There is severe rot around the entire structure and the nameplates are cracked, warped and bent. The Town feels it is important to honor our veterans and keep the memorials in the condition they deserve,” Foster explained.

The Recreation Department will soon begin working on a budgeting plan for the Honor Roll Memorial project.

Foster added, “Hopefully we will receive grants and donations to help with the replacement cost.”

 dmenear@thefranklinjournal.com

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