Brownielocks and The 3 Bears
Present

The History of the Corn Maze

The animation below show people in the corn maze with their flags! Which one is calling for help?

 

"First of all, I'm not going to go into the history of maize (aka corn) because it would make this page just too long. But, labyrinths or mazes go back for thousands of years.  The pyramids in Egypt have tunnels that are in the form of a maze or labyrinth.  The design of mazes can also be seen in archeological digs, and as designs on many of the old pottery, walls, and jewelry.  Romans designed a lot of their floors and streets with puzzle patterns. In fact, in some towns, the pattern of the streets can be laid out in such a way that there is a center circle and then all roads are similar to a maze that lead into it and out of it. If you don't follow the traffic pattern correctly, one can keep going in circles!

But, actually growing a maze didn't really become popular until the 15th Century or later, originating in Europe among it's nobility. To help entertain the aristocrats, garden mazes (made of hedges) were grown. The idea was to find your way in and out.  England was well-known for it's maze hedges.  Britain's oldest garden maze is more than 300 years old. It is the maze at Hampton Court Royal Palace  in West London (along the Thames) and was planted during the reign of King William III. This maze is 1/3 acre in size with winding paths nearly 1/2 mile in length. But, Britain's love mazes so much, due to their popularity, they now have mazes made up of  bricks, dirt, water, stones, wood, paving tiles as well as glass and mirrors!

 

Adrian Fisher of Dorset, England is considered the worlds leading maze designer. He's been doing it  since 1979,  achieving six Guinness World Records, winning 12 design and export awards and creating over 400 mazes in 23 countries. He has a company called Maize Maze in which farmers can get one of his designs.


The first modern corn maze was called "The Amazing Maize Maze" and at the time was the world's largest corn maze. It was designed by Adrian Fisher and Don Frantz.

This page was inspired because I went through an Adrian Fisher, copyrighted corn maze a short time ago.  I went to the Belvedere Plantation. Below is the 2004 pattern that I experienced. It takes 2 hours to finish this if you do everything right. I emphasis the word "IF." Ha!  Below is a photo of the actual maze I went through. It is the only maze where you enter and end at the same point (the big circle in the center).  It is also the only Adrian Fisher maze in the state of Virginia!


Photo copyright Belevedere Farm, Fredericksburg, VA

 

There are many other corn maze companies in the U.S. And, a lot of farms that have mazes. Just check on-line for one in your local area. If you get to see an aerial view of the maze, you will notice that there is a theme to most of them.

Want to know what it's like to go through a corn maze? First of all, it's fun!  But, I advise that you dress for the weather. The day for me was very hot!  Wear comfy walking shoes. You will walk a lot.

Every "team" was given a flag and a crayon to scratch sections of the map when you reach a certain point.   (Some mazes give you the map; or give you cassettes with directions on getting through the maze.) If you get in trouble, lost or want to quit, you just wave your flag and one of the corn maze assistants will come and get you. This is why I made the animation with the one flag waving! :)

Don't panic. Think and take your time. Dress colorful so your other teammates and friends can find you. If it's going to be hot, bring fluids with you. If it's going to rain, bring rainwear. I don't recommend an umbrella because the paths are not that wide. You'll just end up fighting the corn tassels with your umbrella, or bonking other visitors with it.  

If the farm you are going to visit has a website and offers a picture of the corn maze on it, I suggest you print it out and bring it with you. You might also want to bring along some bug spray.

Some people have skin reactions to corn tassels.  It's best to stay on the paths and not dive into the actual field (also known as cheating) to get to another path.

This corn maze also had music playing to go along with its theme this year. And is also available to be experienced at night using flashlights.  Kids seem to do better with the mazes than adults. Do they just not think about stuff so much or do they have a better sense of direction? Who knows!

 

How is a Corn Maze Made?

This is how it was described to me by one of the owners of the Belevedere Farms.  

In the Spring, the corn is planted in the field in a grid pattern. The entire field is covered by corn.  Then, when the corn is about 6" tall, the maze pattern is mowed out.  Where this maze pattern has been mowed, then weed killer is sprayed so the corn will not grow there for the rest of the season. The remaining corn grows up tall in around the maze pattern design paths. In the Fall or November, the corn is then harvested for feed and the field is tilled under until next year.

 

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Our Midi is titled "The Maze" and is from a RPG music.

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