The Burke Museum has a unique opportunity to bring a truly remarkable story pole carved by Chief William Shelton back to the Northwest.
With a flatbed truck - and your help!
The Burke Museum has a unique opportunity to bring a truly remarkable object back to the Northwest. Carved by renowned artist and Snohomish Tribe leader William Shelton, this Coast Salish story pole was commissioned for Krape Park in Freeport, Illinois, in October of 1935, where it stood for more than sixty years before it fell into such severe disrepair that it had to be removed.
The Freeport Park District debated what to do with the decaying pole, ultimately deciding the Burke's large Northwest Coast collection, expertise, and connection to the artist's region made it the perfect place for the new pole. But, how do we get it here?
We're collecting donations through the power2give.org website to help bring the pole home to the Northwest. It will be transported from Illinois in a forty-foot-long crate on the back of a flat-bed trailer. Upon its arrival in Seattle, it will need to be fumigated immediately so that only the pole - not the bugs living in it - take up permanent residence in our collection. Only then can the process of restoration begin.
Getting to Seattle is the first step in a much longer journey for the pole, but this new phase of its history can’t begin without your help.