Ed Galloway's Totem Pole
Listed on the National Register of
Historic Places and claiming the title of the World’s Largest Concrete
Totem Pole, the park features a 90 foot totem pole that towers over the
park in a vivid array of folk art colors.
built the totem pole over an 11 year period from 1937 to 1948, utilizing
some 28 tons of cement, six tons of steel, and 100 tons of sand and rock.
His tribute to the American Indian features 200 carved pictures, with four
nine-foot Indians near the top each representing a different tribe.
The centerpiece totem pole, rising from
the back of an enormous turtle, sits in the midst of a beautiful nine acre
park. The park also features Galloway’s eleven-sided "Fiddle House"
that previously housed his hand-carved fiddles. Artifacts made by Ed
Galloway and visuals of the park development are also on display in the
museum. Throughout the park are numerous of colorful totems
that display a variety of Indian Folk Art.
World's Largest Concrete Totem Pole near
June, 2004, Kathy Weiser
Nathan Edward Galloway
was born in 1880 in
Missouri and 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. He spent the next 20 years teaching boys
woodworking in the Children Home orphanage in Sand Springs,
Oklahoma. In 1937, he
retired to the property where the park sits today in
mostly by himself, the totem pole and other sculptures in the park
kept him busy during his retirement years all the way up until the
time of his death in 1962. Every day he rose at 5:00 a.m. and
continued to work on his elaborate pieces until past sunset.
built the Fiddle House, supported inside and out by 25 concrete Totem
Poles, to display his numerous handmade fiddles. After his
death in 1962, the sculptures began to fall into disrepair from weather
and neglect. Unfortunately, many of the fiddles were stolen from the
Fiddle House in 1970 and were never recovered.
the 1990s, a restoration effort was undertaken by the Kansas Grassroots
Art Association whose members live near
Members of the group painted the totems during Labor Day and Memorial Day
weekends over a seven year period.
park is now owned and operated by the Rogers County Historical Society and
Heritage Association assists with fund raising and yard maintenance.
areas can be enjoyed by travelers in the beautifully kept grounds during
daylight hours. The Fiddle House Museum and Gift Shop is open daily
from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
park is located ten miles north of
66 highway and four miles east of
Foyil on highway
Ed Galloway in his Fiddle House, courtesy
Rogers County Historical Society
Fiddle House at Totem Pole Park, June, 2004,
Rogers County Historical Society
121 N. Chickasaw
of America, updated January, 2009.
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Another totem pole in the park, June, 2004,
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