Wednesday, June 19, 2013

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Fredericksburg Maibaum

A German “Maibaum” (Maypole) tells the history of a town through the vignettes you see from bottom to top. A tall pole, usually painted blue and white in Bavarian villages, is typically put up for May Day (May 1st), and is often used as frameworks for symbols of the villages’ histories, points of interest, or signs indicating local craftsmen’s guilds. The Fredericksburg Maibaum was erected in 1991 in the downtown Marktplatz to symbolize the history of Fredericksburg, which was founded in May 1846.

Here's what the various symbols on Fredericksburg's Maibaum mean:

Maypole [Fredericksburg TX 2/11/2008] / John W. Schulze / CC BY 2.0
1 (top).  Tree branches represent the burr oak, a species noted for its height and strong, practical wood.

2.  Local landmarks Cross Mountain and the Vereins Kirche.

3.  More local landmarks, a Sunday House and the Nimitz Hotel.

4.  How the German settlers got here:  by ship and by oxcart.

5.  Cattle, sheep, and goats play a big part in the local economy, then and now.

6.  So does hunting (deer and turkey).

7.  Farmers here grow peaches and grapes.

8.  Cowboy and dancers - settlers working and celebrating

9 (bottom).  March 2, 1847 peace negotiations between Comanche tribes and the German pioneers.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. I saw this today on Pinterest and had to come read more. I love, love, love this tree. What a great history for the town. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Isn't it cool, Betty? With all my many visits to Fredericksburg, I have not yet seen this up close (that's why I had to borrow a Creative Commons photo to use here). I will have to remedy this on my next visit!

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I'm happy to see you using my photo, happier still to see it explained!

    1. John, thank YOU for making the photo available to use with a Creative Commons license!