The Rogers County Historical Society is embarking on a major project to restore the upper large Totem Pole at Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park. The large totem was restored in the 1990s, but this paint is pealing and the underlying concrete is starting to deteriorate. You can donate and see more of the restoration project in action by going to totempolepark.org. The Totem Pole Park and Andy Payne Memorial in Foyil and Chelsea are frequent Route 66 destinations. Groups often stop for lunch at the Totem Pole Park and visit the Fiddle House and Gift Shop. Visit us on our FACEBOOK page for the latest restoration updates.
Of the many spectacular things to see in Rogers County, one of the most impressive, has to be the
This icon was the creative genius of Ed Galloway, who developed the park as a monument to the Native American. The centerpiece of the nine acre park, the totem pole, rises from the back of an enormous turtle.
The nine acre park also includes Galloway's eleven-sided Fiddle House that houses his hand-carved fiddles. Artifacts made by Ed Galloway and visuals of the park's development are on display in the museum. Throughout the park are various sizes of colorful totems, displaying the Indian Folk Art.
Nathan Edward Galloway was born in 1880 in Missouri. He developed his carving skills as a child, creating mother-of-pearl buttons and small wooden items. After serving in the U.S. Army in the early 1900s he was introduced to Japanese and Far Eastern art while stationed in the Philippine Islands. After he returned to Missouri from his tour of duty, he began to create massive sculptures from tree trunks where he incorporated human figures with fish and reptiles.
Galloway's unique style soon caught the eye of Sand Springs founder and philanthropist Charles Page in 1914. The discovery led to a long relationship between the two, beginning with Galloway's employment as a manual arts instructor at the Sand Springs Home. Galloway spent the next 20 years teaching boys woodworking in the Children Home Orphanage in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. In 1937, Galloway retired to the property where the Totem Pole Park sits today in Foyil, Oklahoma.
You can discover more details about this Route 66, Rogers County icon by reading
Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park: The Story Behind One of the Greatest Folk-Art Attractions on America's Mother Road, Route 66, by John Wooley, available at the Totem Pole Gift Shop and on Amazon.com.
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