A terpsichorean performance at Riverton School, June 1938, prompts a look back to past May Days

Riverton School field day, The New Era, June 16, 1938, p2


Now there’s a College Boards vocabulary word – terpsichorean.

I had to look it up.

After recently stumbling across the above newspaper photo while searching our Historical Local Newspaper Collection, I realized there were a few other bits about the same topic in our archive, so I decided to get them all in one place.

But don’t worry – there is still room for more, if you care to contribute, as the women below have done.

Pam Deitz supplied these snapshots showing the ceremony for the crowning of the 1936 May Queen.

1936 May Queen ceremony – photo credit Pam Deitz
1936 RPS May Queen Court
1936 RPS May Queen Court






Cheryl Smekal, 2011 Museum for a Day Curator

Cheryl Smekal, a former HSR Board Member whose family photo album has been a source of inspiration here before, provides these scans of May Day celebrations in the mid-1950s.

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One wonders how much more Riverton history is stored away in basements and attics?

In the November 2009 Gaslight News, Mrs Elsie Showell Waters described the annual Riverton Field Day as it was observed in 1932:

What excitement—Field Day was coming! We got white sneakers for the day. We took flowers to school to decorate the May Poles. We upper-class girls donned our black bloomers, our middy blouses, and our new sneakers. We marched out to the field at Memorial Park to do our exercises with dumbbells and Indian clubs to band music. After that, we went into tents set up at the park to change into our pretty dresses for the May Pole Dance. Such fun dancing around the May Pole, weaving pretty colored ribbons under and over to make a pretty design.

2013 Parade Marshal Elsie Waters

Elsie, who passed in 2018 at age 99, was an active HSR Board Member and a vital part of our Society for many years. Her enthusiasm for history is greatly missed. Casey Foedisch‘s 2013 interview of Elsie reveals the great love she had for her lifelong home.

People ask, “Where do you get this stuff?” and the answer is, we get a lot of it from you, our members, and visitors. We welcome anyone’s photos or recollections that will elaborate on this May Day/ Field Day theme (or anything else, really).

Please the form below to comment or contact us for details on how to submit longer memoirs.

If you find value within these pages, please support this endeavor with your membership or use Paypal (button at left) to contribute to the noble work of preserving local history. -JMc

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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