A Little History about the Lueders Totem Pole

Thanks to Frank Hilton, the photographs on this page were taken the weekend of March 4, 2006 by Aivars Jurkis, who is the Order of the Arrow Adviser for the Boy Scouts of America.

It is the same Totem Pole that in the fifties was located in front of the Tabernacle at the Lueders Baptist Encampment Grounds.

It's present location is near the front right corner of the Training Center at Camp Tonkawa near Buffalo Gap, Texas.

Frank Hilton believes the Lueders Totem Pole was created between 1926 and 1928.

This is based on the fact the Boys Scouts conducted summer camps at the Baptist Encampment Grounds from 1925 through 1928.

With scouts camping there for 7 to 10 days, Frank says they would have had ample time to carve up an old telephone pole into a Totem Pole.

He says, it was a natural thing to do in those days and if that is true, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, then that would explain why the pole was eventually moved to Camp Tonkawa.

That being the case, the Totem Pole would be about 80 years old as of 2006.

Frank Hilton says, Totem Poles were very popular in the early days of Scouting as it was part of the Indian Lore that Scouts were into.

Almost every scout camp has or has had a Totem Pole in one form or another. Some are gone and have not been replaced.

The Scouts use to take turns carving them out with an ax. Now days they use chain saws.

Frank provided additional Totem Pole History by providing this picture of a Totem Pole located in the San Angelo Boy Scout Village on the Concho River where the new YMCA is now located.

It was known as "Her Majesty Queen Totem" and was awarded to the troop cabin in the village for winning a contest. It is now long gone as it was lost in a flood in 1936.

Frank has seen Totem Poles at other camps and other Scout cabins over the years but, says it is now hard to get kids to work on them.

Carol Felts, Class of 53 who worked at the Baptist Camp Grounds almost every year until he graduated says he has always pictured the Totem Pole as being on the Southwest corner of the Tabernacle but, the picture Dorene provided shows it on the northwest corner.

Carol and his wife Zo still go to the camp at least once a year. They are scheduled for a Deacon wives, Pastor wives supper there during the week of March 12, 2006.

Carol advised, the tabernacle is long gone and a large gym is now in its place with the worship center inside. Says, young people today aren't as tough as we were. There is also now a very nice motel on the campus so he reckons we are not as tough as we thought.

3 "Atta Boys" should be given to Dorene McAlister, Class of 55 for asking the Totem Pole question and Carol Felts, Class of 53 for being able to tell us where the Totem Pole went.

So, "Atta Boy Pirates" and a special thanks to retired professional scouter, Frank Hilton for providing the history lesson and obtaining the photographs.

We now have a little previously unknown part of the past history of our lives and the Community of Lueders, Texas all because of a Totem Pole.

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