Thursday, November 12, 2015

Maypoles and Gay-Mill Gardens

Tidbits from south of Deep River, late in May 1922:

2015-11-12. South of Deepriver
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 25 May 1922.

The list of Ainsworth graduates confirms my earlier guess (which wasn't exactly genius-level in the first place), and gives a few details about the graduation ceremonies — drills and Maypole dances in an open field that may have been a bit muddy.

So Howard H. Smith, who has been living in an undisclosed location at least since January 1922, when Melvin and Verna Guernsey moved onto his farm, is now building a house on his Porter County land? — and where might that be, I wonder?

Excuse me while I look at Union Township maps on a hunch …

… what do you know, it's right across the county line from his Lake County land.

2015-11-12. Smith 1921
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from, courtesy of Steven R. Shook.

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This advertisement for the Gay-Mill Gardens sounds as if May 27, 1922 might be its grand opening …

2015-11-12. Gay-Mill Gardens ad
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 26 May 1922.

… but if that's the case, then why is the "mirror floor" already famous?

In Dreams of Duneland, Kenneth J. Schoon describes the Gay Mill as "a vibrant dance and social hall with an adjacent hotel and even lakefront houses for rent." It must have seemed quite glamorous to people accustomed to dancing above a blacksmith's shop or in an old schoolhouse, if they ever ventured through the Gay-Mill doors.

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