Ed Galloway.
Ed Galloway poses with his soon-to-be-burned wood art in 1913.

Ed Galloway's Lion in a Cage

Field review by the editors.

Springfield, Missouri

Ed Galloway was a Springfield woodcarver, known in the early 1900s for his ornate furniture. With some local backing he opened a studio in town and began carving large pieces of unique, purely decorative wood art. His goal was to have enough examples to exhibit at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. His most notable work -- worthy of an early postcard -- was a life-size allegorical woman standing on a small Earth, straddling the Panama Canal, wrapped in the coils of a huge snake.

Ed Galloway's Lion in a Cage.
Lion in a Cage, carved from a single sycamore stump.

Unfortunately that sculpture, and nearly all of the others, were destroyed in a fire in July 1913. Ed subsequently left Springfield and moved to Oklahoma, where he eventually became known for building the World's Largest Totem Pole -- out of concrete, not wood.

Ed's only known surviving artwork from the fire was a small lion in a circular cage, cleverly carved from a single sycamore stump. By 1956 it had found its way into Springfield's Dickerson Park Zoo. The charred artwork was partly restored in 1970 by students at Hillcrest High School, and then again in 1992 by the zoo staff and the Springfield Woodcarvers Association.

Today the lion in a cage is on public display in the administration building of the Zoo, which notes that the artwork is not only "a fascinating and somewhat mysterious piece of history," but also "a visual reminder of the much-improved exhibits for housing animals."

Ed Galloway's Lion in a Cage

Address:
W. Smith St., Springfield, MO
Directions:
Inside the Dickerson Park Zoo administration building. I-44 exit 77. Turn north, then quickly turn right onto W. Norton Rd. Drive a quarter-mile. Turn left at the Zoo sign onto Fort Ave. The road quickly splits; stay right, away from the Zoo, following the yellow line onto Smith St. Drive a quarter-mile. You'll see the Zoo administration building on the left.
Hours:
M-F 8-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
417-833-1570
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Red's Giant Hamburg SignRed's Giant Hamburg Sign, Springfield, MO - 3 mi.
Stand Where a Man Was Killed by Wild Bill HickokStand Where a Man Was Killed by Wild Bill Hickok, Springfield, MO - 3 mi.
Bicycle FenceBicycle Fence, Springfield, MO - 3 mi.
In the region:
President Reagan's Big Head, Branson, MO - 42 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Missouri

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Missouri.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Missouri Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

International Spy Museum, Washington, DC (Oct 11-17, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now