In Foyil, Oklahoma there lies the world’s largest totem pole. It’s definitely not what one would expect to see in Oklahoma. The story of the world’s largest totem pole is also not what one would expect to hear. Ed Galloway built the totem pole just so that he would have something to do during his retirement. The story of Ed Galloway, excerpted from roadsideamerica.com is as follows:
Ed Galloway (1880-1962) was born in Missouri, fought in the Spanish-American War, and was on his way with his family to California when he took a temporary job in Foyil. He retired to property he purchased in Foyil in 1937.
Working mostly by himself, Galloway started the Totem Pole in 1937 and finished in 1948. Though sometimes credited as a monument to Native American tribes, Galloway said he built it after he retired because he thought it would be a good thing for youngsters to visit.
Ed’s wife once taunted him with her own variation of Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Totem poles are made by fools like thee, but only God can make a tree.” Galloway promptly crafted a 12-ft. concrete tree trunk, with holes for birds to live in.
Ed also created handmade fiddles out of various types of wood including poison oak.
He worked every day on his creations, up at 5 a.m. and continuing past sunset right up until his death of cancer in 1962.
So, the next time you’re bored and think that you have nothing to do, remember Ed Galloway and consider what you can do to leave your own mark on the world.