Wilbur Haller was the founder of our carving club and for many years he wanted to have the club carve a totem pole. He offered to have the pole placed in his yard and have members come by and carve on it. Unfortunately, Wilbur passed away and the project never happened. About a year ago Jesse Berguson suggested the club should carve a totem pole and I agreed, thinking we could do it in honor of Wilbur.
I contacted the Mayor Allen Green and asked if the club undertook the project would the City like to have it and place it somewhere. Mayor Green immediately replied that he would love to have the totem pole, and would see that it got installed in a City park. We had a meeting and requested volunteers to carve on the pole and initially had twelve people interested. That number ultimately dwindled to nine carvers.
Jesse Berguson arranged the donation of the pole from a local lumber mill and it was transported to John Carleton’s house, where it remains while being carved. The pole is pine, is 12½ feet long and 15” in diameter, and was estimated at 500lbs.
As of early June 2014, the pole includes:
- An Eagle, being carved by Greg Mais
- A Red Fish, carved by Don Kruck
- A set of Storks, carved by Mike Beliveau
- A Santa, carved by John Carleton
- An Alligator, carved by Conley Branham and John Carleton
- A large Bear face, carved by John Carleton
- A small Bear face, being carved by John Palmer and John Carleton
- A Woodspirit, being carved by Jesse Berguson
- A Civil War Soldier, being carved by Derek Haddaway
- An Indian, being carved by John Carleton
- A Canadian Maple Leaf, carved by Art Hay, and another by John Carleton
The City has agreed to install and maintain the pole, and has given preliminary directions on how to build the base. Dave’s Pest Control has agreed to donate treatment the pole of insects.