The Fredericksburg Maibaum MAY 03 2013
Maibaums (Maypoles) are erected in Bavarian villages for festivals and are later used as frameworks for symbols of the villages’ histories or points of interest. The Fredericksburg Maibaum was erected in 1991 to symbolize the history of Fredericksburg, which was founded in May 1846.
The bottom symbols portray the March 2, 1847 peace negotiations between Comanche tribes and the German pioneers. A group of settlers, led by John O. Meusebach, traveled north, deep into Comanche territory, and met with 15 to 20 Comanche chiefs. The agreement they reached allowed the Fredericksburg colonists to develop their settlement in peace.
The cowboy and dancers on the second level portray the settlers working and celebrating.
The third level represents the grapes and peaches, which have contributed so abundantly to the local economy.
The next level shows the importance of hunting deer, turkey and other wild game in the development of the colony as well as its importance in the area’s present-day economy.
Also playing a major role in Fredericksburg’s past and present are cattle, sheep and goats, which find plentiful grazing in the area.
The ship and oxcart on the next level portray the transportation of the pioneers arriving in this colony. Most came by ship from Germany to Indianola, a port on Matagorda Bay, and then by oxcart overland to Fredericksburg.
The settlers established a unique community in Fredericksburg as symbolized by the Sunday Houses, which dot the city, and the historic Nimitz Hotel, which serves today as the Admiral Nimitz Museum—a key element of the National Museum of the Pacific War.
Two of the community’s most recognized features today are the replica of the Vereins Kirche, the first church, and the cross atop Cross Mountain. These symbolize the devotion of the early settlers to the Christian faith.
The 12 tree branches at the top of the Maibaum are modeled after the burr oak, a species that is notable for its stately height and durable, useful wood. The trunk and branches are wrought iron and the leaves are copper with a natural patina.
The Fredericksburg Maibaum was contributed to the community by the Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance, a local organization devoted to fostering the arts in this area. The Alliance annually produces the Oktoberfest, a family festival, on the first weekend in October.