Toth Whispering Giant
In 1972, Peter Toth, a Hungarian born artist, began carving his Trail of Whispering Giants across the United States. He said, “I love America. It’s the greatest nation in the world and I want to give a little of myself to my adopted country and to this important cause I believe in. My monuments are my way of saying what I must say. They are made to remind people of the contribution of the Indian to this great country.” Starting in La Jolla, California, Toth decided to carve one statue for each state, with Arizona as number 33.
In the fall of 1979, the City of Winslow and Kaibab Industries began searching for a tree that was at least 55 inches in diameter and about 30 feet tall. A suitable tree was found and estimated to be valued at $3,000. Toth preferred to work with wood believing that the rustic texture exemplified the strong character of the native people he was memorializing. The massive log was carved in place and required about 100 coats of preservative.
The statue was set in place on November 10th, 1979 in the Hospitality Golf Park [city farm] on top of a 20-foot hill. It remained there for over 20 years before it was moved to the new First Street Park in 2005. A massive crane and other heavy machinery was required to transport the statue to its new home. The collection of Whispering Giants was completed in 1988. Toth has since moved on to carve statues all over the world representing indigenous people. He also carves replacement Whispering Giants for statues that have been destroyed. As of 2022, he hopes to carve a statue of King Laszlo for his native country of Hungary in the future.