At 10:30 tomorrow morning, the intersection of 61st and Stevens outside the Log House Museum – home of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society – will be closed to vehicles and full of people: Hundreds of students from Alki and Schmitz Park Elementaries, dozens of VIPs including County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and former Mayor Greg Nickels, and as many other spectators as care to show up. The occasion: A ceremony unveiling the former Admiral Way totem pole, fixed up and shined up and placed (as we showed you Tuesday) in its new home outside the museum. Inside the museum, a new “mini-exhibit” will open in honor of the occasion, and it’s being worked on right now. We stopped by earlier this afternoon to check in with museum manager/exhibit curator Sarah Baylinson (below) and SWSHS executive director Clay Eals.
In the exhibit, you will see a collection of items from three mini-totem poles on loan from Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (with Baylinson, above) to totem-themed memorabilia:
The Shoppe’s original owner JE “Daddy” Standley brought the totem pole’s predecessor to West Seattle in 1939, 38 years after it was carved by First Nations members in coastal British Columbia. That pole is featured in the 1952 Hi-Yu program cover, shared with us by the museum:
That’s Diane Qualls, Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu 1952. The pole that will be unveiled tomorrow morning was carved in 1966 and stood for 40 years at the northeast-facing viewpoint on Admiral Way, until a newer pole replaced it, at which time it was given to SWSHS with the expectation it would be renovated and displayed. It was taken away in 2012 for work at Artech in Renton, and brought back Tuesday.
(WSB photo from Tuesday)
This afternoon, Eals and volunteers put its interpretive sign into place as one of the finishing touches before tomorrow morning:
The pole’s history, and that of its predecessor, are shown in this slide deck put together by SWSHS. Again, all are welcome at tomorrow morning’s ceremony, which is to include a group photo – but don’t show up at the last minute, because the intersection will be closed and hundreds will be on hand!