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Chief Seattle Statue

In 1907, the services of Seattle's pioneer sculptor, James A. Wehn, were retained to create a meticulously researched bronze statue of Chief Seattle, leader of the Suquamish. Wrapped in a stained copper shawl, the chief stands with his right arm raised in symbolic greeting to the first white settlers who landed at Alki Point, in 1851. The statue was sculpted by Wehn, using the only existing photo of the man as his source of inspiration. Below the statue is a granite pedestal with two bronze, bear head ornaments, spouting streams of water into a pool, and a plaque that reads "Seattle, Chief of the Suquamish, a firm friend of the whites, for whom the city of Seattle was named by its founders." The statue commemorates the relationship between the Native Americans of Puget Sound and the incoming European-American settlers. Myrtle Loughery, Chief Seattle's great-great granddaughter, unveiled the finished sculpture on Founder's Day, November 13, 1912. Renovated in 1975, the Chief Seattle sculpture today presides over Tilikum Place, a small park in the northwest corner of Northern Seattle's central business district. The word Tilikum means "welcome" or "greetings" in the Chinook dialect. The park is open to the public. The "Seattle, Chief of the Suquamish," statue was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1984 and is located in King county.