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Murkowski gets late Rep. Don Young’s 900-pound totem pole in Capitol Hill office

A 900-pound totem pole found yet another home in an Alaska lawmaker’s office on Capitol Hill on Saturday.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a tweet that the pole, which has stood in the office of the late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), has now been moved to her office. She said the pole was originally belonged to former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who served in his seat for 40 years.

Murkowski said she now occupies what was once Stevens’ office, so the totem pole will be returning to its home. A photo Murkowski posted along with the tweet shows more than half a dozen people Capitol Hill workers wheeling the totem pole to her office.

“I’m honored to have this as a reminder of both my friends and their love for Alaska,” she said.

Young, who was the longest-serving Republican in congressional history when he died in March, told E&E Daily, a news organization focused on energy and the environment, in January 2018 that the pole originally belonged to Stevens, and he received it after Stevens was defeated for reelection in 2008.

Young said the owners of the pole told Stevens he needed to give it to the new senator when he lost reelection, but Young told Stevens to bring it to his office.

Young’s office a slew of other artifacts like a hand-carved canoe and photos of Young with multiple presidents. It also featured a host of animal head mountings that he boasted he had hunted himself, as well as the full size bear skin of one he had encountered, he told Roll Call who took a tour of his office in 2016.

KTOO, an educational radio station in Juneau, reported in April that Young’s office had largely remained as is despite his death. His office included other artifacts like a hand-carved canoe and photos of Young with multiple presidents.

Donald Wolfe

Donald’s writings have appeared in HuffPost, Washington Examiner, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Virginian-Pilot, among other publications. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He is the Virginian Tribune's Publisher.

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