Chief Johnson Totem Pole


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The Chief Johnson Totem Pole was raised in 1901 and restored by Native carvers enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1939-1941. The carvers trained at the Saxman workshop did the restoration work. The restoration work was part of a larger U.S. Forest Service program focused on the restoration of totems and Native cultural assets. The original caption for a National Archives image of the Chief Johnson totem reads: “The Chief Johnson” Pole is a fine example of Alaskan Indian totem pole carving. The pole has been restored at the original location, which property has been deeded to the Federal Government by heirs of the old chief. The area is near the Federal Building in Ketchikan Alaska. Indian CCC enrollees from the Tongass National Forest have done the restoration work. (Photo by U.S. Forest Service)” National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 35-TA.

The original pole was removed in 1981 and stored at the Totem Heritage Center. Israel Shotridge was commissioned to carve a reproduction of the pole in 1989.

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