A relay of respected mushers was organized to expedite the delivery, and Seppala (with lead dog Togo) was chosen for the most forbidding part of the trail. This was the start of the spread of the Siberian Husky breed in the United States and Canada. A sustained east wind could also push the ice out to sea, and a team caught on a drifting floe could find itself stranded on open water. Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites. The film’s hero Leonhard Seppala, played by Willem Dafoe, required four separate parkas alone, which would eventually be made of faux moosehide, faux beaver, faux seal and faux squirrel. Leonhard Seppala died in 1967. Conditions on the ice were perilous, with sudden soft spots in the ice underfoot and outright open water sometimes only a few feet away. Seppala left Togo, with great sadness, with Ricker to retire in comfort in 1927 (Seppala remembered it as one of the saddest moments in his life. If the wind blew from the east, it could reach speeds as high as 70 mph (110 km/h), flipping over sleds, pushing dogs off course, and causing a windchill as low as −100 °F (−73 °C). "I literally fell in love with them from the start", he recalled; "I could hardly wait for sledding snow to start their training". Seppala would cross the sound each way in the race to deliver the serum. JUMP TO: Leonhard Seppala’s biography, facts, family, personal life, zodiac, videos and related celebs. Seppala initially followed in his father's footsteps as both a blacksmith and a fisherman. The serum was now only 78 miles (126 km) from Nome. In 1931 the Seppala–Ricker partnership ended. During the 1925 serum run to deliver diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska, Togo led his pack on a long, harrowing journey across buckling sea ice. No dog driver has the status, the renown and the respect of his colleagues as does Leonhard Seppala. His tour ended in January 1927 with the dogsled race at Poland Spring, Maine, where he accepted the challenge to race against Arthur Walden, founder of the New England Sled Dog Club and owner of the famous lead dog, "Chinook". Leonhard Seppala's experience and fame as a champion dog musher are why he was chosen to drive a sled dog team in the Serum Run. Seppala had immigrated to Alaska from Norway when his friend Jafet Lindeberg convinced him to come work for the mining company he started in Nome. [17], Norwegian-American sled dog breeder, trainer, and musher, Leonhard Seppala after the 1925 serum run, "Alaska Airlines To Serve As Iditarod's Official Airline Sponsor", Photo: Winners of the Eighth All Alaska Sweepstakes from Alaska's Digital Archives, "2008 All Alaska Sweepstakes Media Guide", "The Siberian Husky: A Brief History of the Breed in America", "Alaska Airlines continues long-standing support of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race", Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leonhard_Seppala&oldid=997263814, Sled dog racers at the 1932 Winter Olympics, Olympic sled dog racers of the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 18:56. However, they could only afford a short rest, and set out again at 2 am. found: LeonhardSeppala web page viewed 4/10/13: Leonhard Seppala (1877-1967) Seppala eventually became arguably the most famous dog driver of all time. Indeed, when the whiteout conditions suddenly lifted, Seppala found that he and his team were at the bottom of a hill, racing towards the cliffs along the sea. However, many of his dogs' paw pads had been shredded and claws broken by the ice-encrusted snow as they clawed their way back to the top of the hill. Once more details are available, we will update this section. I have it here!". This meant avoiding rocky cliffs along the shore, but it also exposed him and his team to the dangers of the Sound. While he raced to the roadhouse at Isaac's Point on the opposite shore, gale-force winds drove the windchill to an estimated −85 °F (−65 °C). [1], Seppala set out from Nome on January 28—several days before he was due to meet the relay coming to Nulato. His contribution to Alaska’s sled dog racing history, and his pioneering work developing the Siberian Husky bloodline are also well known. [5][6] He was the eldest child of Isak Isaksen Seppälä (born in Sweden of Finnish descent) and Anne Henrikke Henriksdatter. Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. They were survived by their daughter, Sigrid Hanks. The movie leaves out several details about Togo’s death. Togo was one of the offspring of Seppala's former lead dog, "Suggen". The initials "G.I." The serum! Small cracks in the ice could suddenly widen, and driver and team could be plunged into the freezing water. Both are buried in Nome, Alaska. To Seppala’s deep ire, another dog, Balto, received glory after the race. is military terminology referring to "Government Issue" or "General Issue". Seppala's section of trail featured a dangerous shortcut across Norton Sound, which could save a full day of travel. [1], In 1913, Seppala inherited his first team of sled dogs by chance. Leonhard Seppala was previously married to Constance Seppala. [1]:72–75[11] He went on to win the race the following two years, as well, at which point the All Alaska Sweepstakes was suspended until 1983. Seppala is considered the founder of the Siberian… Bookmark this page and come back often for updates. He crossed Norton Sound without incident. People born under this sign are persistent and straightforward. Their owner, Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, came to Nome during the height of its gold rush on June 14, 1900. Seppala was assigned to train the dogs. A matter of life and death. This generation experienced much of their youth during the Great Depression and rapid technological innovation such as the radio and the telephone. He is a dog that was raised by his owner Leonhard Seppala to be a sled dog. In Astrology, Mercury is the planet that rules our mindset. [1], This emergency delivery, also known as the "Great Race of Mercy", is commemorated annually with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.[13]. ... DEATH DATE Jan 28, 1967 (age 89) Popularity . After 3 days and 170 miles (270 km), he came in sight of another relay musher, Henry Ivanoff, but did not realise it. Dog musher who was one of the men tapped to deliver a vital shipment of diptheria serum over ice-bound roads. Togo is the deuteragonist and title character in the 2019 film Togo. [10], During his first winter in Alaska, Seppala became a dogsled driver for Lindeberg's company. The trail here was exposed and the steep grade grueling for the dogs, who were sleep-deprived and had already raced 260 miles (420 km) over the previous 4.5 days. When he arrived there at 8 pm, his dogs were exhausted; they had run 84 miles (135 km) that day, much of it against the wind and in brutal cold. In 1961, Seppala revisited Fairbanks and other places in Alaska at the invitation of American journalist Lowell Thomas, enjoying a warm reception from the Alaskan people. The only treatment available in 1925 was diphtheria antitoxin serum. [1] The serum was to be taken by train to Nenana, and from there relay teams would set out from Nome and Nenana, meeting in the middle at Nulato. Leonhard Seppala was born in the Year of the Ox. The enthusiasm for sled dog racing in New England together with the Serum Run publicity and the victory over Walden made it possible for Seppala and partner Elizabeth Ricker to establish a Siberian kennel at Poland Spring. Leonhard Seppala was a Virgo and was born in the G.I. Generation also known as The Greatest Generation. Alaska Airlines has established the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award. Tony Krier had told Urtha years ago that if he wanted the building to preserve the memory of Nome resident, Leonhard Seppala, that he could have it. [12], A diphtheria outbreak struck Seppala's town of Nome, Alaska in the winter of 1925. Why was Leonhard Seppala chosen to help with the 1925 Serum Run to Nome? His fame has lasted far beyond his brief national acclaim following the race to Nome against an epidemic. Learn about Leonhard Seppala: his birthday, what he did before fame, his family life, fun trivia facts, popularity rankings, and more. While in Skjervøy, his father worked as a blacksmith and fisherman, building up a relatively large estate. Generation. Leonard "Sepp" Seppala /ˈlɛnərd ˈsɛpələ/ (September 14, 1877 – January 28, 1967) was a Norwegian sled dog breeder, trainer and musher who played a pivotal role in the 1925 serum run to Nome[1] and participated in the 1932 Winter Olympics. Balto (1919 – March 14, 1933) was a Siberian Husky and sled dog belonging to musher and breeder Leonhard Seppala. He and his wife lived in Seattle until his death at the age of 89. Plaque on the Leonhard Seppala monument in his hometown of Skibotn, Norway. The whole trail was 674 miles from Nenana to Nome, and Seppala was initially selected to cover the more than 400 miles from Nome to Nulato and back. [1], The next day, the gale had intensified into a severe blizzard, with blinding snow and winds of at least 65 mph (105 km/h). In 1946, he and his wife Constance moved to Seattle, Washington. The Seppala Kennels partnership of Leonhard Seppala and Elizabeth Ricker began shortly after the Poland Spring dog sled race of 1927 and lasted until Ricker married Kaare Nansen in 1931 and left for Norway. His friend Jafet Lindeberg had returned from Alaska and convinced Seppala to come to work for his mining company in Nome. When Amundsen cancelled his trip a few weeks after the puppies arrived in Nome, Lindeberg gave them to Seppala. JULIANNE NICHOLSON: I was sent the script, and I knew that Willem [Dafoe] was attached to play Leonhard Seppala, which was very exciting to me ‘cause … While most drivers considered 30 miles (48 km) a long run, Seppala travelled between 50 miles (80 km) and 100 miles (160 km) most days. After the Serum Run, Seppala and some 40 of his dogs toured the "lower 48" with an Eskimo handler. Even though he covered more distance (260 miles) than his co-sledder Balto (55 miles), he didn't get as much fame. This also meant he worked as long as 12 hours a day. “Togo” is the untold true story set in the winter of 1925 of champion dogsled trainer Leonhard Seppala and his lead sled dog, Togo. People who are born with Mercury as the ruling planet have communication skills, intellect and cleverness. He was famous for being a Dog Musher. By January 1927, Seppala had opened a … The initials "G.I." A street in Nome named Seppala Drive connects the town to its airport. 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