BALTO'S TRUE STORY

History of the 1925 Nome Serum Run

Balto Statue In Palmer, Alaska

 

Aficionados of the serum run may well be aware that there was a time, not too long ago, when the citizens of Alaska made a plea to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to return Balto's taxidermy mount to the state of his birth.  That plea was rebuffed by the museum (as the story goes).  Determined to have a tangible remembrance of their own to Balto, grade school students in the farming community of Palmer, Alaska (about an hour's drive northeast of Anchorage), from Butte Elementary School began raising money to fund the statue and monument, which was commissioned to Wasilla (Alaska) sculptor Frank White, and sculpted in bronze on a granite base (with the names of the students inscribed around the base).  The statue and monument sit in front of the Palmer Museum of History and Art in Palmer.


Leonhard Seppala Monument in Skibotn, Norway



The only monument to a serum run participant I could find which lay outside of the United States, this monument was erected by the Seppala family to honor Leonhard Seppala.  It sits on family ground in the environs of the village of Skibotn, where Seppala was born (the pictures come from a Wikipedia page about the town, and are not mine).  Constructed of painted wood with a marble base, there is also a commemorative plaque in English and what is most likely the Kven dialect of Finnish spoken in that area of Norway.  The wooden sculpture features Leonhard Seppala in his squirrel-fur parka, flanked by two Siberian huskies, with an arch over them.  The base has a wooden sculpture of a dog sled.  Here is the detail of the plaque: