This sculpture honors the sled dog who saved Alaska's children from a diphtheria epidemic by delivering medicine over the frozen tundra. In January 1925, Alaskan doctors feared a deadly diphtheria epidemic would spread among the children of Nome. Medicine to stop the outbreak existed, but doctors needed to travel nearly a thousand miles to Anchorage to retrieve it. More than 20 sled teams coordinated to make the trip through blinding snow and sub-zero temperatures. Led by Balto, the team covered 53 treacherous miles back to Nome in 20 hours. Newspapers and radio around the world followed the trek, fascinated by the brave team whose efforts eventually helped end the epidemic.
Balto became a national hero. Just 10 months after the successful mission, this statue by animal sculptor Frederick G. R. Roth was dedicated in Central Park.
East Drive at 67th Street
Sculptor: Frederick George Richard Roth (1872-1944)
Material: Bronze statue with slate tablet over natural rock
Donor: Balto Monument Committee to the City of New York