I have noted before in this column that May was always a month of pleasant memories, especially when connected with school activities. I never grow so old that I forget those happy days.

I recently learned of the passing of Anna Shaw Scarbrough in December, 2021. I immediately remembered Anna, who along with her husband, were regular attendees to the Cardington-Lincoln High School alumni parties. Anna was the Cardington High School May Queen in 1942.

I may have reviewed the history of May Day before but people still ask questions about May Day’s origin at Cardington.

The first May Day ceremony was Wednesday, May 6, 1931 and the program was held in the auditorium. There was music by the band songs by grades, instrumental selections. Blue Ribbons awarded in health work, basketball and band and orchestra emblems awarded.

At 2:30 that day, Mildred Sellars, a senior, was crowned the first May Queen. The day was complete with games, a drill team and a baseball game with Marengo.

May Day then became a tradition at Cardington. In 1931 and 1932 the queens were selected from the senior class and it was not until 1933, that the honor was bestowed on a junior, Doris Kirkpatrick, a senior. Ruth Kaelber was also selected so that there would be retiring queen to crown the new queen.

The ceremony was held in the afternoon the first two years and in 1933 it became a morning event. The May Pole dance was introduced in 1931 by the sixth grade but later became a tradition of the seventh and eighth grades.

The May Day ceremony was held on the front lawn of the school unless it rained and then was held in the gym. In 1949, it was held on the Dick Pace athletic field behind the elementary school in 1949 with very warm, even hot weather, experienced by the largest crowd in the history of May Day.

I believe the last May Queen was Nancy Fate in 1968, a niece of Doris Kirkpatrick, the first junior to be crowned May Queen. Nancy’s mother, Rosella was queen in 1941. Two other Kirkpatrick sisters, Varie and Wanda, were queens in 1936 and 1939 respectively.

Memories of May Day are unending and so pleasant to relive.

Snippets looking back

May, 1962: Stone’s Drug Store in Cardington offered a range of Mother’s Day cards priced between a nickel and fifty cents.

May, 1972: Karla J. Smith of Cardington was awarded a $4000 scholarship from the Galion Iron Works. Her father, Homer, was employed by the company.

May, 1982: Manager Carol Mories announced that the Cardington swimming pool would open May 29.


By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist