RC Council Approves Westminster Band Shell Gazebo Grant Submission
Wed, 02 Jun 2021 17:27:33 EDT


Rogers City Council members recently approved of their City Manager applying for a grant, with an eye to repairing the former band stand, now park gazebo in Westminster Park.

The grant amount of 20-thousand dollars ($20,000.00) is being sought through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, to be matched with another 20-thousand in local donations. The effort is to be channeled through the crowd-funding / Patronicity program, which was used to overhaul the Third & Erie Nautical intersection.

City Manager Joe Hefele says the gazebo has a proud and important history, as it served as the original band stand for the Rogers City Band, hosting a great many fantastic concerts in its day.

Over time and given it's age, with some physical moves, it has started to seriously deteriorate. A shake shingle roof needs replacement, stairs and other components are rotting away and it's at a critical stage.

Due to citizen fundrasing efforts, Hefele feels confident that a grant award will be successful, with a large match. Those who contribute 5-hundred dollars or more ($500.00) will be included on a plaque to be placed near the stairway.

Along with restoration, other improvements would include electrical, lighting, adding historic signage, and creating a concrete / stone walkway around the perimeter of the gazebo. Hefele hopes to have the grant in hand and improvements made before the Sesquicentennial / Nautical Festival if possible.

For an interesting overview of the structures history, check out this story on our news page at WATZ dot com.

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The following is from Presque Isle County Historical Museum Director Mark Thompson:

Michigan Limestone General Manager Carl D. Bradley volunteered to build the band stand at the Calcite Limestone Quarry in 1918.

Upon its completion, the band stand was housed on the Michigan Avenue side of the Presque Isle County Courthouse grounds.

In 1934, upon the completion of the new (and current) City Hall, the band stand was relocated across Michigan Avenue to the City Hall property.

The band stand remained next to City Hall until 1954, when a new band shell (since replaced with the current band shell) was constructed in Lakeside Park.

The old band stand was stored next to the City WWTP, then up on Bradley Highway, falling into a state of disrepair.

In 1973, it was acquired and restored by Donelda McWilliams, and relocated to what is now Beck Funeral Home.

By 1989, the band stand had been acquired by the City, further restored by the Optimist Club, and relocated onto the foundation of a no-longer-used water fountain in Westminster Park, where it remains to this day as the popular park gazebo.

   

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