This monument, Ames Monument, is one of the oddest in Wyoming. It's so odd that I wasn't quite sure whether to post it here, reflecting the railroad nature of the theme of the monument, and the origin of its construction, or whether to place it on Some Gave All, our blog that's dedicated generally to monuments. Or maybe even someplace else.
Ames Monument is a pyramid, yes a pyramid, in Albany County Wyoming that was built by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. It's dedicated to Oakes and Oliver Ames, to figures associated with the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, and not really in a terrible happy way.
Oakes Ames was a Congressman who was hugely influential in getting the transcontinental line constructed. His brother Oliver became president of the Union Pacific Railroad. That's fine, of course, but Oakes' efforts were associated with claims of fraud and Oakes was censured in Congress due to his actions in connection with the railroad's construction
After Oakes died in 1873, and after the controversy had died down a bit, the Union Pacific independently took action to memorialize the brothers, who had been successful in getting the transcontinental line built where others had failed. So, this was built as a privately funded memorial near a high altitude town in sparsely populated Wyoming between Cheyenne and Laramie.
The town has since passed away, with Buford Wyoming being the nearest town of any kind, and it's hardly a town, although a rural subdivision of sorts has somewhat sprung up generally in the area.
And the Union Pacific moved its line several miles, so the railroad no longer runs by here. Indeed, nothing really runs by here, and the Union Pacific itself donated the odd, and truly massive, monument to the State of Wyoming, which administered it as a rarely visited remote monument.
The scale of the monument is difficult to appreciate without seeing it. It's huge. Images of both brothers are on the monument, but as I didn't appreciate that at the time, I only photographed one of them. The noses of both brothers have fallen off their images, or perhaps been shot off, giving perhaps one final insult to their memorial.
Wyoming's Interstate 80 is just a few miles away, but few turn off to visit this monument built in 1880. Indeed, I've known of its existence for years and years, but just stopped off to see it for the first time myself the other day.