Danford Island Park Maypole


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Danford Island Park Sign

Danford Island Park Sign

 

 

The “Old Mill Race” was a prosperous island way back in the days of water wheel power. There at one time was a lighthouse and a Grist Mill. Several other water powered mechanical devices were used here also. As time went by, the mill was taken down, the lighthouse dismantled, and the island was used as a popular park for families on a Sunday afternoon. You can still see an old Maypole (kind of hard to find as it looks almost exactly like the trees!). Dancing around the Maypole was a rite of spring in the early 20th century in America where there was significant German ancestry.

 

Adapted from Wikipedia:

A maypole is a tall pole erected as a part of various European folk festivals, around which a maypole dance often takes place.

Dancing Around the Maypole

Dancing Around the Maypole

The festivals may occur on May Day or in spring, although in some countries it is instead erected at Midsummer. In some cases the maypole is a permanent feature that is only utilised during the festival, although in other cases it is erected specifically for the purpose before being taken down again.

Primarily found within the nations of Germanic Europe and the neighbouring areas which they have influenced, its origins remain unknown, although it has been speculated that it originally had some importance in the Germanic paganism of Iron Age and early Medieval cultures, and that the tradition survived Christianisation, albeit losing any original meaning that it had. It has been a recorded practice in many parts of Europe throughout the Medieval and Early Modern periods, although became less popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the tradition is still observed in some parts of Europe and among European communities in North America.

Some anthropologists theorize that the maypoles were simply a part of the general rejoicing at the return of summer, and the growth of new vegetation. In this way, they bore similarities with the May Day garlands which were also a common festival practice in Britain and Ireland.

Maypole blends into background

Maypole blends into background

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top of Maypole

Top of Maypole in Danford Park