I was helping my fifth grader with a history project a few nights ago when we made a fascinating discovery. As we researched the Native American people indigenous to our area for the presentation he was working on, we stumbled on a wild story that left us both aghast.
Long story short, way back in 1899, the city of Seattle wanted to be known as the “Gateway to Alaska”. So, in order to establish a landmark that perpetuated this title, a group of businessmen sailed to Alaska, where they found a 60-foot totem pole in a Tlingit village. Assuming the village had been abandoned (the people were actually only temporarily away for the summer fishing and cannery season) the men cut down the pole, brought it to Seattle, and erected it in a prominent place in town, where it became known as the Seattle Totem for the next 50 years.