The first Bristol Park is perhaps our best known: Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park. On October 11, 1940, the Federal Government transferred the 4.1 acre site (except the tower and the underlying 1750 square feet of property) to the Town of Bristol. The acquisition came with a stipulation: that the property be used as a public park, and be available for recreational, educational and research pursuits. It was a responsbility the town gladly undertook. For the park's first 17 years, its day to day operations were supervised by the Bristol Board of Selectmen.
That changed in 1957 with the acquisition of the seven acre park at Pemaquid Beach. At that year's Town Meeting, Bristol voters instructed the Selectmen to create a Parks and Recreation Commission. This structure remains today. The current Commission is made up of three members from the local community; each is elected to serve for a three-year terms on a staggered schedule.