Metamora bandstand is an icon

Jessica Van Beek
The Metamora bandstand was built around 1874 at a cost of about $265.

The Village Park Cobblestone Bandstand in Metamora is one of its kind because of its history as well as its current uses.

The first bandstand was built around 1874. The 18-foot structure was built at a cost of $265.

It was torn down in the summer of 1931 because it would have been more costly to make repairs instead of recreating the entire building.

Residents donated native rocks, labor and money to the reconstruction of the new bandstand. A Plymouth car raffle also helped raise money to contribute to the process.

The bandstand currently hosts the “Summer Concerts in the Park” series, which has been around since the late 1960s to early ‘70s.

Murllene Kramer became involved with the bandstand in 1988, when the man who organized the concerts and was the grounds keeper passed away.

Kramer helped organize the summer concerts, which are now organized by the Village of Metamora.

However, Kramer is still involved with the bandstand.

“It’s beautiful and it’s historic,” she said.

Kramer added a lot of towns have bandstands, but this one is particularly special.

She said years ago, a man from out of state came to play at the bandstand and said he had seen a lot of stands, but only this one in use.

Kramer said it is a nice and safe environment for people.

A lot of senior citizens are found in the park where the bandstand is located, as well as young families with children.

Driving by the bandstand, people may be seen sitting around the edge of it.

For being a dated structure, the bandstand has remained in good shape, Kramer said.

“The village has done a good job of maintaining it,” Kramer said.

She added it was recently re-roofed and is occasionally repainted, but normally does not require a lot of maintenance.

The Caterpillar Employees Big Band frequently plays at the Metamora Park on the Square, typically drawing an estimated crowd of 500 to 800. Aside from the concert series, Kramer said the bandstand is often used for weddings and around Christmas time a tree is set up.

Ice cream socials that involve area churches and community service groups are also held in the park.