A Bandstand, a local Treasure!


When I was a kid in Mattoon, Illinois we lived near Lytle Park. My sister Debbie and I walked and often enjoyed the park and pool. I even recall a few times going and listening to music. Our neighbor’s dad played music under the bandstand!

Beautiful bandstands can be found everywhere. But recently I have been enjoying the beauty of a few local bandstands.

History of bandstands

I learned a bit of history. I found that bandstands were first introduced in Victorian Britain. They were established along with parks and gardens. The British believed ” music was seen to have an influence on moral health, and so bandstands became focal points for communal entertainment.”

Designs vary, some are very ornate and some are simple affairs. They tied communities together for years. Sadly, though according to the website “A brief introduction to bandstands “Nearly 600 bandstands were lost between 1945 and 1980.”

Thankfully though several still remain. I have been discovering them in many small towns recently!

Auburn’s Double Decker bandstand


In the nearby town of Auburn, Illinois is a rebuilt Double Decker bandstand on the downtown square. The bandstand is a replica of the original that was constructed in 1905. The bandstand was built on the site of the old Town Hall. According to the facebook page, the first Band Concert was given on June 20,1906 by the Auburn Metropolitan Band. One of my daughter’s best friends was married here. What a lovely place for a wedding!

Virden’s Historic bandstand


The Virden, Illinois square is famous for its Virden Mine Battle Monument. The 3-dimensional bronze and marble depicting the Virden Mine Battle of 1893 is quite riveting. But the historic bandstand is quite lovely in its own right. I couldn’t find much history on it, but the Virden square with the monument, WWI statue and the bandstand is quite a lovely place to stop and walk!

With two independent book stores on the square, Virden is a bit of a treasure.

Sherman’s kind of sort bandstand!


In all honesty, I’m not sure if the citizens of Sherman call this a bandstand or not, they have a pavilion and stage and other park like buildings, but it looked bandstand like to me! This is a new park area off Rail Golf course it is a pretty area and is quite simple and lovely. This is near a pond and small and peaceful.

Jacksonville’s Beautiful bandstand

Jacksonville’s bandstand last fall

The grand dame of bandstands is the one in Jacksonville, Illinois. This beauty was built in 1880 at the Jacksonville Mental Hospital. It sits on the grounds of the Prairie Land Heritage Museum. The Smithsonian actually participated in the reconstruction of this beauty! Sent to Washington and just recently returned to Jacksonville this now is part of the museum. This beauty is 33 feet tall and 14 feet wide and stands almost 18 feet tall.

Have you found any bandstands recently? Is so where?

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  1. Stacey Billingsley

    I love the pictures! The history of bandstands reminded me of the one in Epcot at the UK pavilion where the Beatles cover band would play. So cool!

    1. Cindy

      Thanks, I remember enjoying listening to my neighbor play under a bandstand as a kid in a local park. They are so picturesque I think they add a lot to a town!

  2. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    I’ve never thought too much about bandstands but now I wonder about our neighboring town’s bandstand’s history. It still has a community band play in it every Tuesday in the summer and special occasions and festivals. Due to COVID-19 this year, I know they aren’t playing live in June but it does sound like they are going to have a show on July 3rd!

    1. Cindy

      I think they are so cool! You will have to learn the story behind your town’s bandstand!