Working mostly by himself, Ed 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 so he would simply have something to do. He thought it would be a good thing for youngsters, Boy Scouts in particular, to visit.
The totem pole is constructed of concrete over a scrap metal and sandstone rock skeleton. Sixty feet tall, six stories, 30 feet in circumference, the pole rests on the back of a turtle. Sculpted and brightly painted renditions of spirit lizards, owls, and head-dressed Indian chiefs climb to the pinnacle. Ed built other sculptures on his property, though none as big as the Totem Pole. All are decorated with similar Native American themes. An Indian arrowhead sticks up out of the ground; stylized birds and smaller totem poles are spread across Totem Pole Park.
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 spent over 20 years teaching boys woodworking in the Children Home orphanage in Sand Springs, OK, and retired to property he purchased in Foyil in 1937.