The historic statue of “Togo” the sled dog in the recently renovated Seward Park now has an official plaque. The bronze plaque was installed in a collaboration with the parks department and the Seward Park Conservancy. The plaque serves to memorialize the story of the lead sled dog (owned by sled dog breeder and racer, Leonhard Seppala) who made a difficult and dangerous journey across central and northern Alaska to bring diphtheria serum to Nome in 1925. The bronze sculpture was created by the artist Shelley Smith Curtis in 2001 and was recently moved to a more prominent location when the park was renovated. Curtis has sculptures installed in public parks across the country, including five different parks here in NYC.
The plaque reads: “In 1925 Togo led a dog sled team in blizzard conditions to Nome, Alaska, to deliver a life-saving antitoxin during a diphtheria epidemic. He traveled nearly 300 miles, farther than any other dog in the relay. His courage saved many lives.”
Amy Robinson, president of the board of the Seward Park Conservancy, told us, “The Seward Park Conservancy considers Togo our spirit animal. We were determined to get him signage which tells his story. He now has his own circle in the newly renovated garden, thanks to the design of Parks architect Chris Crowley. The Parks Department approved the historic plaque. The Seward Park Conservancy worked on the wording with Jennifer Lantzas and Steve Simon of Parks. It was created through one of Parks trusted vendors. The funding for the creation, landscaping and maintenance of the plaque came through generous donations to Seward Park Conservancy, particularly generous was Disney+.”