I add a few notes jotted down in September 1889 and in 1890.
The Black Forest, In a village near Furtwangen. The maypole stands all the year round by the inn. When I passed through, a new landlord had just come in. The pole bore on the top a faded wreath, no doubt last May's; and below, a cross-tree had been fixed to the pole, bearing upon it a wreath of fresher flowers, which I take to be the wreath set up for the in-coming; while a long string of flowers wound about the pole from the cross-tree down to the ground. On the cross-tree were fixed wooden models of a wine-bottle, wine-glass, beer-glass, cup and saucer, and brödchen; and a placard was affixed, reading: Glück und Segen dem nenen Wirth.
Oberharmersbach. Here, too, the inn had a new landlord. He had only just come in, as I well remember; for he had no bed for me, and sent me another five miles' trudge to find one. On the steps before the door stood a little fir, like a Christmas-tree, the branches bound with ribands and decked out prettily.
In Freiburg (Baden), in the Vosges, and at Cologne, I saw instances of the custom of placing a similar fir-tree on the roof-ridge or other part of a house while building. In one instance the tree was planted near the house in the ground.