Henderson's Band

Henderson's Band

Manistee, Michigan ca. 1900 Town bands, a by-product of military bands, have provided local entertainmentas far back as the 16th century. Regularly playing at civic and social events, including weddings, rallies, picnics and parades, early town bands typically counted war veterans amongst its members. Identified by the ribbons they are wearing, there are three Civil War veterans in this photographed band. The ribboned medals are those that were issued to veteran Union soldiers by the Grand Army of the Republic, the first American organization formed to honor war vets. Coincidentally, membership in the GAR peaked in the 1890s - the same decade that an estimated 15,000 small town bands blossomed across the country to become an integral part of American culture.

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