February 23, 2019

Totem pole donated to the Ogemaw County Historical Museum


WEST BRANCH — A totem pole carved by Millie Miller was donated to the Ogemaw County Historical Museum June 26.

Miller, who died in 1998, was known for her craft of carving.

Her rendition of Chief Ogemaw and two restored totem poles of hers are on display at the Ogemaw County Fair.

While working on putting new signs up for the Ogemaw Trails Driving Tours, Kam Hutchins and her husband Bob discovered a sign was missing where Miller’s former home is.

This led to the discovery of an original totem pole carved by Miller, which the current homeowners, Gary and Mary Moore, then donated to the museum.

Kam said the pole had been sitting in a field for 10 years and will need to be restored, which her husband will be working on, and will eventually go outside the museum.

Kam said totem poles are not native to Michigan, but Miller enjoyed traveling and was a tremendous wood carver.

“Each totem pole tells a story,” Kam said. “What her story meant, we’ll never know.”

As for Bob, he said he is doing research online to find the best way to restore the totem pole. He said he is doing this because it’s part of history and something that will keep him busy.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge.”

Bob hopes to have the totem pole ready to go outside in a year. Meanwhile, it is inside the museum garage.


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