(First 2 images courtesy Log House Museum/Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
The date is finally set for a gala ceremony welcoming the former top-of-Admiral Way totem pole to its new home on the east side of the Log House Museum: Friday, June 6th.
Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals announced the plan today, centering on a “public unveiling ceremony featuring public officials, the Duwamish Tribe, and the student bodies of both Alki and Schmitz Park elementary schools.” Part of 61st SW by the museum (61st/Stevens) will be closed for the event, so that overhead photos/video can be recorded. You’re welcome to be there and be part of it. The pole’s history:
Carved by Boeing engineers Michael Morgan and Bob Fleischman from a log harvested from Schmitz Park, the totem pole stood at Belvedere View Point Park from 1966 to 2006. It is a nearly exact replica of a totem pole carved by the Bella Bella tribe of British Columbia and brought to Belvedere View Point Park 75 years ago, in 1939, by West Seattleite and Ye Olde Curiosity Shop owner J.E. “Daddy” Standley.
Recognizing the deteriorated condition of the 1966 totem pole, Seattle Parks and Recreation removed it in 2006 and replaced it with a differently designed and unpainted story pole carved by a descendant of Chief Seattle.
SWSHS’s restoration and display plan has been in the works since then; the pole was taken to restoration experts Artech two years ago, as reported here. Its return will coincide with a new mini-exhibit called “Reaching the Sky: Totem Tales of West Seattle.” You’ll find lots more information about the June 6th event and the pole’s history in the full announcement on the LHM/SWSHS website – see it here. Also, Eals will speak about it at this Thursday’s monthly lunch meeting of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.