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Ames Monument State Historic Site

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Ames Monument

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About Our Site - Ames Monument



Completed in 1882 at a cost of $65,000, this monolithic, 60-foot high granite pyramid was built by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. It stands on the highest elevation (8,247 feet) of the original transcontinental railroad route. Trains passed close by the north side of the monument where the rail-town of Sherman once stood. In 1901 the railroad route was relocated several miles to the south leaving the pyramid as a marker of the original route.
The monument serves as a memorial to the Ames brothers of Massachusetts. Oakes (1804 - 1873) and Oliver (1807-1877), whose wealth, influence, talent, and work were key factors in the construction of the first coast-to-coast railroad in North America. The contribution made by Oakes was especially significant despite being implicated in an 1873 scandal involving the financing of the railroad construction.


Ames Monument was designed by the distinguished American architect Henry Hobson Richardson (1838 - 1886). Located further west than any of his works, this memorial typifies the Richardsonian style by its energetic, elemental characteristics. His love for native construction materials is demonstrated by the monument's great, rough-hewn granite blocks, quarried from "Reed's Rock" one-half mile west. A Richardson biographer has called the monument, "Perhaps the finest memorial in America...one of Richardson's least known and most perfect works." The bas-relief medallions of the Ames brothers were done by the prominent American sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.




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Ames Monument  is Open.




Open daily, sunrise to sunset.



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Ames Monument
210 Monument Rd
Buford, WY 82052

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