BALTO'S TRUE STORY

History of the 1925 Nome Serum Run

Monumental Experiences
A guide to the various monuments, statues and taxidermy mounts
honoring the serum run and its participants


by Earl J. Aversano


Below I have compiled an exhaustive list of every well-known and little-known remembrance dedicated to the 1925 Nome serum run and one or more of its participants.  And it may surprise you to know that there are several of them (including one outside of the United States)!  You will also be provided with the location of each (including, where possible, the specific street addresses) in the event you would like to visit them for yourself.

A.          Statues and Monuments
Of all the remembrances dedicated to the serum run and its participants, these are the most numerous and widely-spread.  Typically, they are a combination of metal (usually bronze, a common medium for commemorative statuary) and/or stone (usually granite or marble).  I have included, as much as possible, information about the designers and sculptors.


The Balto Statue and Sled Dog/Musher Monument



Located in the city of New York, in expansive Central Park, this was the first dedication ever made to the serum run and its participants...and it certainly remains the most famous and well-known serum run monument to date.  The monument is meant to stand on its own as a remembrance to ALL of the serum run mushers and dogs, without exception (though it does not name them).  It is composed of a large granite boulder, with a bronze plaque set into it.  The plaque bears an image of a dog sled team in relief, and a commemoration:



"Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards, from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925.  Endurance Fidelity Intelligence.

The monument is surmounted by a large statue, in bronze, of Balto.  This statue was commissioned by the famous animal sculptor
Frederick George Roth
(on the photo gallery here on the site, you can see various pictures of Roth doing the initial work which would lead to the statue itself), and dedicated on December 17th, 1925.  Present at the unveiling were not only several New York dignitaries, but Gunnar Kaasen and Balto themselves.  While the bronze on the statue and monument have aged, the center of the statue has been polished bright by years of being sat upon by children.



The statue and monument are located in Central Park, near the East Drive at 67th Street.  More information:
http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/centralpark/highlights/10771
and http://shadesoffun.com/nyc/099.html.