DANCING GREEN

BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Dancing Green, 1936 (?) – present
Pine Mountain Settlement School

The Dancing Green at Pine Mountain was a space often used for celebration. The most frequently celebrated event on the Green was May Day. A time of dance, song and celebration of Spring, May Day was part of the annual celebrations of the School from the very earliest years until 1949 when the Boarding School ended.

May Day, a celebration for the whole community, followed the traditional dance around a May pole and the presentation of animals from the farm. An annual ritual in Great Britain, May Day was a good fit with Pine Mountain and their special focus on English Country Dance and ballads. Sword dancing, handkerchief dances and the Kentucky Running Set were favorites of the festivities.

Located just below the Far House site, the Dancing Green was also known as the Far House Green. As an open amphitheater with seating on the sloping hill surrounding the grassy meadow, the Dancing Green was and continues to be an optimum location for concerts and other out-door events. The east side of the Green has a grove of poplar and maple trees that form a natural stage backdrop.

Running through the Green is a narrow path often referred to as “Snake Path” partly due to its sinuous nature and partly due to the occasional snake that can be found on the path. A small stream flows around the outer eastern edge of the Green and adds to the cool and tranquil feel of the site. In the April on the north side of the slope, a bountiful blue carpet of blue-bells may always be found.

Scattered along the edges of the verdant path are a variety of ferns and wild flowers.  In the 1930’s and 40’s there were numerous Sweet Williams” sprinkled among the ferns. Two former students were named Fern (Hall Hayes) and William (Hayes) and it is told that many staff admonished students  “not to tread on the Ferns and Sweet Williams,” as they walked along the meandering path.  The respect for “staying on the paths” has persisted at the school.  It was a rule with young children in the early years and later was monitored during the boarding school years and now, the environmental program continues to remind students to not stray off the paths.  Many plants along the foot-paths and trails are rare and sensitive just as were the ferns and the Sweet Williams of Snake Path.

Gallery

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Title

Dancing Green

Alt. Title

Far House Green

Identifier

DANCING GREEN

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Dancing Green ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; celebrations ; May Day ; May pole ; farm animals ; English Country Dance ; ballads ; sword dancing ; handkerchief dances ; Kentucky Running Set ; Far House Green ; amphitheaters ; Snake Path ; bluebells ;

Subject LCSH

Dancing Green.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Country dancing.

Date

2014-04-04

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

n/a

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet ; JPG images ;

Source

Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant)

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant)

Coverage Temporal

1936 (?) – present

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;

Rights

Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Donor

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers concerning the Dancing Green ; clippings, photographs, books about the Dancing Green ;

Acquisition

n/d

Citation

Pine Mountain Settlement School Collection, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-04-04 hhw ; 2014-04-16 aae ;

Bibliography

Source

Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections. Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.

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