‘Story of North Island’ Totem Pole Restored


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(Note: The Seattle City Council is in recess between Aug. 19th and Sept. 2nd. Below, is a re-post of a blog from the Office of Arts & Culture I hope you find interesting)

Thanks to a generous donation by the Committee of 33, conservators Corine Landrieu and Tiffany Hedrick restored the Story of North Island totem pole in July. The totem pole, located on the Montlake Cut near the University of Washington, was carved by Haida Chief John Dewey Wallace in Waterfall, Alaska in 1937.

IMG_2634The pole was originally carved for the Waterfall Cannery, one of the most productive salmon canneries of the early 1900s. The totem pole was raised near the cannery’s general store, where it stood for many decades until its mysterious disappearance. It resurfaced in Seattle in two pieces, where it was found and restored by the Committee of 33, who then donated the pole to the city of Seattle for permanent installation at its current site.

Restoration of totem poles involves many treatment procedures including the removal of biological growth, invasive pest eradication, consolidation of deteriorated wood, restructuring of areas of loss caused from woodpeckers and other invasive species, inpainting, paint consolidation and the application of suitable surface coatings. Landrieu, and Hedrick, who is on the staff of the Office of Arts & Culture, spent several weeks onsite applying these methods.  In addition to these measures, paint samples were also taken from the Story of North Island, which will be analyzed for identification of original pigment composition and origin for future work.

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IMAGES:  Top: Story of North Island totem pole after restoration; Bottom: plaque by the totem pole.

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Comment from Samantha Williams
Time September 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I was curious if you have more images of the totem pole by John Wallace? Would love to see more! Thank you,

Samantha Williams

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