The Bethany Beach Delaware totem pole that greets visitors was originally sculpted by Peter Toth and replaced after decaying by Dennis D. Beach.

"Chief Little Owl" in Bethany Beach, Delaware


Bethany Beach, Delaware's landmark sculpture of "Chief Little Owl" was officially dedicated during a 45-minute ceremony Monday, July 15, 2002. The statue, depicting a Nanticoke Indian chief with a north-facing eagle atop his head, was unveiled by a town staff member.

Remarks from Peter Toth, the sculptor who carved Bethany Beach's first "Whispering Giant" in 1976 as well as the new one, were followed by comments and a dedication ritual by Charles Clark, former assistant chief of the Nanticoke Indian Tribe.

Clark expressed appreciation to Toth, who carved the first "Chief Little Owl" in 1976 as part of a project in which he has now placed a totem pole in each of the 50 states and another 15 in Canada. His purpose in doing so, he said, was to promote unity among all people.

The new Whispering Giant is carved from a red cedar log from Alaska, which Toth said he personally selected. The sculpture it replaced was carved from white oak and showed signs of serious damage after seven years. The red cedar sculpture is expected to last from 50 to 100 years.

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