The painstakingly detailed bandstand built in 1910 by Zim and his father in law Alvah Beard, is a rare example of a vanishing structure that evokes memories from another era once common on a village green.
Thanks to caring Horseheads citizens and the Horseheads Historical Society, the colorful structure designed and decorated by Zim with the unique whimsical frieze of summertime musicians kept in repair and original colors, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Historical Society continues Zim’s tradition of free summer concerts in Teal Park. Although he never played a musical instrument, he enjoyed music. In the late 1880s, he donated instruments and uniforms to many of the children of Horseheads and created the first ZIM band. A small photograph of ZIM was always kept on the bandstand during concerts.
“The beautiful band and “speakers” stand in Teal Park will be dedicated to-night with very appropriate exercises, commencing at 8 0’clock. The principal address will be given by the Hon. R. P. Bush . Dr. Bush will formally dedicate the structure and turn it over to the Village Trustees as custodians for the people.” “ For many years our people have wished for a Bandstand. Last spring a movement was launched by some members and promoters of the Horseheads Progress Society which has resulted in a Bandstand. With the exception of a few dollars yet to raise, all the funds work and material have been donated. The building was completed the last week when General Manager of Elmira Water and Light and Railroad Co. sent Mr. Rittenhouse up to wire it for electric lights. The Company will light the Bandstand free of charge if the Band will give free concerts” ´One of Zim’s masterpieces has been placed on the east side of the upper structure. Two frogs seated on mushrooms are playing clarinets and between them is a grasshopper rendering music on a violin, It is estimated that the Bandstand cost more than $ 500.It is one of the nicest improvements made in our village in years and amply demonstrates what a village may easily do by spending a little energy, “The ZIM Band assisted by the Elmira Heights Band will give a splendid concert this evening. Ice cream and cake will be served and a general good time is to be enjoyed by everyone.” “It is my understanding that Zim designed the bandstand and he and his father-in-law, Mr. Beard, were two of the many volunteers who put many hours during the spring and summer of 1910 building the bandstand we enjoy."
Original Zim painting of a band member
Teal Park is located on South Main Street in Horseheads, New York. This quaint picturesque park and bandstand has a rich Horseheads history.
The bandstand was established by Eugene Zimmerman, the internationally known humorist and political cartoonist of the early 1900’s known as Zim. Zim lived in Horseheads with his wife, Mabel Beard Zimmerman. He worked for Judge magazine and would travel twice a month to New York City to submit his political cartoons and attend to the business of a weekly magazine.
Original news article The Reporter c 1910-1911Zim Bandstand Dedication
Horseheads Historical Society
312 West Broad Street
Horseheads, New York 14845
Phone: (607) 739-3938