Claremore Daily Progress

September 30, 2013

Author seeking stories for book on 'Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park'

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

FOYIL —

Managers David and Patsy Anderson, of the Ed Galloway Totem Pole Park in Foyil, are seeking stories and photos for the first-ever book about Ed Galloway, creator of Foyil’s Totem Pole Park.

“We are looking for anyone who has any history of the park, or who knew Mr. Galloway, to share that information with us,” said David Anderson.

“Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park” will be written by experienced author and journalist John Wooley. Wooley recently won the Outstanding Book on Oklahoma History award from the Oklahoma Historical Society for “Shot in Oklahoma.” He has written, co-written or edited more than 25 books on cinema, music, pop-culture, Oklahoma history and more. 

In addition, Wooley is currently writing a book on the history of the First Presbyterian Church in Claremore, and recently finished a book on the history of Cain’s Ballroom.

Wooley will be at the Totem Pole BBQ and Music Fest Saturday at the Foyil Totem Pole Park. His book is set for release in time for next summer’s tourist season, said Anderson.

“The people who actually knew Ed are getting few and farther between. Whether people know it or not, the totem pole is a treasure and we want to have a book that preserves its history,” he said. 

Nathan Edward Galloway began working on the park’s biggest feature in 1937, following his retirement from the Sand Springs Boys Home. The 90-foot-tall concrete sculpture was completed in 1948.

Over the years, the nine-acre park has been visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the world, stopping to embrace the folk art environment.

Wooley and the Andersons grew as classmates in nearby Chelsea.

“I remember going out to the park many times with my mother and brother and aunt, eating a picnic lunch after church and listening to Mr. Galloway talk about his work,” said Wooley. “I was fascinated and very eager to get the whole story down on paper.”

Anyone with stories can contact David or Patsy Anderson at (918) 283-8035 to schedule an interview with the author. The Totem Pole BBQ and Music Fest will be from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Cost is $8.50 and includes a barbecue sandwich, baked beans, cole slaw, a cookie and drink. During the event, acoustic musicians are welcome to join the jam sessionsl taking place throughout the park.

Totem Pole Park is located four and a half miles east of Foyil, and is owned by the Rogers County Historical Society and maintained in cooperation with the Chelsea Historical Society.