Children at Central Park bandstand, late nineteenth century
In 1859, two years after Naper’s Settlement had organized as the Village of Naperville, the town created a cultural institution: the Naperville Brass Band. According to records, the band’s first performance took place that same year as a part of a Fourth of July celebration. During the Civil War, the band become known as the Regimental Band and played, among other patriotic tunes, a rousing version of “Yankee Doodle” from a bandstand such as this one. In 1868, Naperville was no longer the county seat. So the courthouse was torn down. The area became known as Central Park, and the band was renamed the Naperville Light Guard Band. This is a replica of the bandstand that was built in Central Park in 1869. The band played in the bandstand until 1900, when a quarrel broke up the band—but not for good. A few years later, the band arose yet again, this time as the popular Lounge Factory Band, named for the furniture factory which helped transform Naperville from an agricultural town into one with a major manufacturing company. The band, known today as the Naperville Municipal Band, continues to perform free concerts in Central Park and around town.