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May Day at Daphne Normal School

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May Day at Daphne Normal School

Amanda Herman

May Day Celebrations lasted for over 50 years in the Jubilee City. The original May Day Celebrations in Daphne, Alabama were started as fund raisers for this State Normal School that faced the modern day May Day Park. These two day long festivities included an entire tableaux by a court of maidens to dance the maypole and crown the year's reigning May Day Queen. 

This structure of the Normal School no longer stands, but it was once an institution to educate teachers in Alabama. Before the establishment of the school in 1907, the building was the center of a countywide quarrel between the cities of Daphne and Bay Minette. As the building was built to house the county seat, the state voted to move the seat to Bay Minette shortly after it arrived. 32 years, actually. Yet, Daphne didn't want to give it up. The people of Bay Minette devised a grand ruse to steal the seat from this building late one night, and actually pulled it off.

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 Bay Minette is the County Seat for Baldwin County today, because they literally stole it. When legislation was passed down for it to be moved, Daphne ignored the order. So the adamant citizens of the town to the north made up a story of a fugitive on the loose, sending the Daphne sheriff on a wild goose chase. When he was out of the building, the coast was clear for the Bay Minette citizens to break in and steal the Judge’s entire desk and contents along with stacks of county records, plus the single inmate, and take them back to town. The people of Bay Minette celebrated by painting a pretty creepy mural on the side of the Post Office.