Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Totem Poles in Detroit? Previous Next
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2079
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 8:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We went to a party last night and I was asked the strangest question. A lady inquired if there were any totem poles anywhere in Detroit. I never did ask her why she was so interested in finding out.
I told her I had no idea other than the last totem pole I recall might have been at Hedges's Wigwam restaurant, but that was not in Detroit and that was many, many years ago. Then there was the Totem Pole Drive Inn on Woodward during the 50's, but that's long gone too and I think that was Pleasant Ridge. But a "standing" totem pole?
Anyway, if anyone in their travels finds a totem pole in Detroit, let me know and I will see that you get all the credit. (Still wondering why she asked).
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3552
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 8:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This one is on the northeast side; Sherwood and maybe Robinwood or Hildale? Can't remember the cross street. I didn't get a photo of it, but the opposite side was much scarier (funnier). The tire acts as a tilted baseball cap on top of a much larger face painted on the backside.


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Neilr
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Username: Neilr

Post Number: 633
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 8:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a large, gray brick, Louis Kemper designed house on a double lot on the northeast corner of Iroquois and Kercheval. The long-time former owner, Dr. Irwin, IIRC, had a very tall totem pole in his side yard for many years.
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Gazhekwe
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Username: Gazhekwe

Post Number: 1297
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 9:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is one in Windsor's Sculpture Park on the river, so you can see the totem pole and Detroit at the same time.

A totem pole inspired carving from a tree is at the Madison Heights Nature Center, said to be at 13 Mile and Hales.

Parducci and other artists did a lot of Penobscot inspired sculpture and brasswork in the Penobscot Building, not sure if there is a totem pole. They aren't truly an eastern symbol but she might enjoy seeing the building. Then there is The Spirit of Transportation by Carl Milles in Cobo Hall. While not a totem pole, it is a tall pole with an Indian man at the top, carrying a canoe.

None of these were actually Indian made, but totem poles are not part of Great Lakes area tradition.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2558
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 11:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There used to be one in Ford Woods, which was a 160 acre plot of land northwest of Ford Road and Chase, behind the old William Ford grade school (razed some time ago). In the forties, those woods were thick; it was a very rustic, saved area. In the middle of the woods was a totem pole. I attended William Ford from '42 to '46, and we students often were taken on walks through those woods behind the school by the teaching staff. We all knew of the totem pole and immediately tried to find it. We were always successful.

Looking at Google maps, I see some of the woods have been preserved in the "Ford Woods" park at Greenfield and Ford Road. In the forties, those woods extended all the way up to just west of old William Ford school.

I suspect the totem pole was of non-native origin, of course.

(Message edited by ray1936 on January 13, 2008)
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Stinger4me
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Username: Stinger4me

Post Number: 133
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ray1936; This is un-related, Have you been to the 17th Precinct Website?

Stinger
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5948
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 12:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba reports no totem poles found in Winship Park on NW side.

When Dodje Main was operating, there were several Totempolski's on the payroll. The family had a Hamtramck butchershop and made great blood sausage. There were from Ketchikanski, Salesia.

jjaba, reporting in from the Westside.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2560
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 12:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Ray1936; This is un-related, Have you been to the 17th Precinct Website?"

Every day, Stinger.
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2080
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 2:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, so far I have enough information to report back to the lady that Detroit is still in the totem pole business.
I will tell her to stop by the 17th Precinct and maybe there is one in the lobby.
Another neighbor tells me there is a Totem Pole Park in Petersburg, Michigan down in Monroe County.
"Seek and You Shall Find".
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5952
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 3:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe there's a totem pole on Gaukler Pointe, behind the Ford Mansion. Rock, get on some socks, long johns, and hearty boots and check it out. Might be from the Aristocrat Tribe, who paddled into Gaukler from Lower Manhattan.

jjaba.
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Gargoyle
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Username: Gargoyle

Post Number: 95
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 5:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Once again, this is not in Detroit, but.....There is a totem pole on the corner of Biddle (Jefferson) Avenue and Eureka Rd in downtown Wyandotte. I think they put it up in the late seventies to honor the Native American peoples displaced by the settlers. It is rather humorous, having a Cadillac emblem on it (yes, like the one on the car).
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2081
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 7:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you Gargoyle. I will send her down to Wyandotte, too. Then I will tell her that the final step up is to visit Vancouver BC where the totem poles rule supreme.
But that puts us in the "Non-Detroit" column.
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Gazhekwe
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Username: Gazhekwe

Post Number: 1306
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 7:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wyandotte also has a lovely sculpture of a Wyandot family by Michaele Duffy Kramer of Port Huron. It is at BASF Wyandotte Park on Biddle.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5957
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Keep going past Vancouver, BC, Rock. All the towns in Lower Alaska on the ferry line have scores of totems.

jjaba.
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2082
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 4:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And if you drive across the river from Portland OR and hop on Highway 99 in Vancouver WA, you will see the Totem Pole Shoe Repair. Can't go wrong there, my friend.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5966
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 7:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is that the Columbia River made famous in the song "Roll on Columbia" by Woody Guthrie, 1941? That one?

jjaba, Far Westsider.
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2083
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's it, my west side friend. The Columbia River, not as dynamic as the Detroit River, but not a bad flow considering. Portland folks look north and see Vancouver WA, whereas Detroit folks look south and see Windsor, Ontario.
And while you are at it, "roll on" down to Florence, Oregon and see them make totem poles right before your very eyes.
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1000
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 7:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Used to be one at 1205 S. Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak.....
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5969
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 11:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Congratulations to Douglasm, you are now a centurian. 1,000 quality posts. Post your email address here and win a prize from jjaba.

jjaba, Westsider.
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 456
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 12:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The_rock-

There is a totem pole outside Medicine Bear Academy at Fort Wayne, perhaps 10'-to 12' tall. It is one of items at the Fort that still looks really nice and is an asset to the history of the grounds.
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1001
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 8:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you, Jjaba. I'm just suprised no one took the bait on the address......

If you're not doing anything this weekend, maybe we can hijack the totem pole from Pioneer Square in Seattle.

douglasm
Pacific Northwestsider......
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Karl_jr
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Username: Karl_jr

Post Number: 195
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 8:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Woodward totem





from: THE PENNEY LIBRARY (http://www.coheadquarters.com/PennLibr/)
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 1179
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 10:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Back when Kowalski Sausage was starting out, they had a devil of a time getting permits to move their products around Hamtramck. They would try carts and then Hi-Los and small trucks, but the city would never give them a permit.

Eventually, old man Kowalski asked the city council how they expected him to move his products around.

"Tote em Poles!" was all they were told.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5977
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Irish, jjaba liked it. LOL.

Alexander Graham Bell Kowalski was the first telephone Pole.

jjaba.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2573
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 5:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In Rosedale park, Dick Kolasinski lived in the house just to the north of me. His sister, Joan Kolasinski, and her husband lived in the house just to the south of me.

I lived between the North Pole and the South Pole.
(true story).
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Hpgrmln
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Username: Hpgrmln

Post Number: 339
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 7:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought there was one at the zoo, but I haven't been there in a few years so I may be wrong.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11365
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 7:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They can't keep Poles at the zoo...
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Ookpik
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Username: Ookpik

Post Number: 373
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 7:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I do not know where this Totem Pole is/was. I am guessing the Metro Detroit area but it could be somewhere "Up North" as well. A number of photos have been identified as Grosse Ile so that could also be a possibility.





Larger View

Ookpik
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 4309
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 8:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't remember. Did the Whoopee Bowl ever have a totem pole?

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