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A Pole Lot of Fun

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park is Oklahoma’s oldest (and largest) example of folk art. Nathan Edward Galloway started construction on the tallest totem at the park — a statuesque 90 feet tall with a 9-foot diameter — between 1937 and 1948.

Made of red sandstone and framed with steel and wood, the totem pole is painted with lake and mountain murals and sits on top of a large three-dimensional turtle. 

­Galloway was born in 1880 in Springfield, Mo., and spent his childhood perfecting the art of woodcarving. In 1937, he retired from blacksmithing and woodworking but continued woodworking as a hobby, creating what is now known as Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park. 

The park features other Galloway pieces, arrowhead totem, birdbath totem and a tree totem, all of which are crafted in stone or concrete and reinforced with steel rebar and wood. The totem poles feature different colors and pictures, each one painted with figurative birds or Native Americans. A destination fit for couples or friends and is grandchild-friendly; the park is an example of history and art not far off the beaten path. 

For more information, visit www.nps.gov or call 918-342-9149. 

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