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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

The green, green grass of Kingston

By Jim Montalto

Some towns use the green of their common as a space for residents to stroll and relax or meet to discuss pertinent issues. Kingston had more practical uses for its main strip when designing its three-quarter-mile-long grassy plot.

"About 200 hundred years ago, the town common, known as the Plains, was fenced in so animals could graze," says Robert Pothier Jr., a member of the Kingston Historical Society and Museum. "Carpenters also stacked their long boards on it to let them dry. When it was no longer needed for the animals or the boards, it was broken up into segments, but it's still the largest common in the state."

The bandstand, the only building on the common, is also considered a town icon along with the Plains. According to Pothier, it was originally built for bands that played on the Plains during the late 1800s. The harsh winter weather took a toll on the bandstand and by 1954 it was so dilapidated the town wanted it removed.

"People were ready to burn it down, but the Historical Society came along to protect it. It was one of the few authentic bandstands around. It needed some work and about $100 to fix it," says Pothier, who restores old buildings in the area and preserves old homes and structures too.

Today, the octagon-shaped bandstand hosts summer concerts, holds a Christmas tree during the winter holiday, and serves as a picturesque setting for newlyweds in the spring and fall.

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