Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park

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Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park
Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park.jpg
Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park
Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park is located in Oklahoma
Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park
Nearest city Foyil, Oklahoma
Coordinates 36°26′14″N 95°26′53″W / 36.43722°N 95.44806°W / 36.43722; -95.44806Coordinates: 36°26′14″N 95°26′53″W / 36.43722°N 95.44806°W / 36.43722; -95.44806
Area 1.4 acres (0.57 ha)
Built 1937
Architect Nathan Edward Galloway
NRHP Reference # 99000354[1]
Added to NRHP March 30, 1999

Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park consists of eleven objects and one building on 14 acres (57,000 m²) in Rogers County, Oklahoma. The park is ten miles (16 km) north-east of Claremore and is located 3.5 miles (6 km) east of historic U.S. Route 66 and Foyil. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 30, 1999 and is currently owned and operated by the Rogers County Historical Society and the Foyil Heritage Association. The park's main totem pole is claimed to be the "World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole."[2]

History and creation[edit]

The park was constructed by Ed Galloway, a retired manual arts teacher who had taught for over 20 years at the Children's Home orphanage in Sand Springs, OK.[3] Upon his retirement, Galloway had moved to a small farm near Foyil.[3] He soon began work on the totem pole, which he built using modern building materials, including six tons of steel, 28 tons of cement, and 100 tons of sand and rock.[3] In 1948, Galloway completed the totem pole,[2] which had a completed height of approximately 90 ft (27 m).[3] At its base, the totem pole is 30 ft (9 m) wide, and it rests on the back of a turtle.[3][4] The entire totem pole is decorated with approximately 200 bas relief images, which include brightly colored Native American portraits, symbols, and animal figures.[3]

The park also features Galloway’s eleven-sided “Fiddle House” which is supported inside and out by 25 concrete totem poles. It previously housed his hand-carved fiddles, handmade furniture, and bas relief portraits of all of the US Presidents up to John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, many of the items in the Fiddle House were stolen in 1970 and never recovered. The park also contains four smaller concrete totems, two ornate concrete picnic tables with animal-form seats, a barbecue, and four sets of animal-form gateposts.

Galloway lived at and worked on the park every day up to his death in 1962 of cancer. Some say that he hoped to use his work to educate young people about Native Americans, but others claim he thought it would be a good thing for youngsters, Boy Scouts in particular, to visit.

Renovation[edit]

In the decades following Galloway’s death, all the sculptures began to deteriorate from weather and neglect. In the 1990s, an extensive restoration effort was spearheaded by the Kansas Grassroots Art Association.[2] The outdoor sculptures were restored and repainted, and the Fiddle House was brought back from the brink of collapse and transformed into the Fiddle House Museum and Gift Shop.

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Covington, Hannah. "Childhood friends, artists bring color back to historic totem pole," Tulsa World, July 30, 2015. Accessed July 30, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Ed Galloway - Creator of the World's Largest Totem Pole," Rogers County Historical Society, Accessed August 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Totem Pole Park," TravelOK, Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Accessed July 30, 2015.

External links[edit]