Standing tall and demanding at 12 different sites, right from Maryland to California, are the statues of the pioneer mothers who traveled to the West along with their husbands. Each of the statues of the Madonna of the Trail are 18-feet tall, placed in each of the 12 different states, along the National Old Trails Road that they pass through, right from Bethesda, Maryland to Upland, California in the United States. Built during the 1920s, these 12 identical statues have been erected by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). The idea of erecting the 12 national highway monuments was a result of a group of women who formed a committee to locate the Old Santa Fe Trail in Missouri. To be fair, the melodramatic design of the statues reflects the patriotic zeal of its era. Browse on further to know more interesting and fun facts about the Madonna of the Trail. Interesting & Fun Facts About Madonna Of The Trail
- A year after the NSDAR founded the National Old Trails Road Committee in 1911, the roadway so developed achieved its name as the National Old Trails Road.
- In 1927, Arlene B. Nicholas Moss, the, then, chairwoman of the NSDAR committee designed the Madonna of the Trail statue, apparently inspired by the one erected in Washington Park in Portland, Oregon. However, the monuments were created by German-born architectural sculptor, August Leimbach.
- The monuments that went under construction in 1928 were completed by the week ending April 19, 1929 with the twelfth monument at Bethesda, Maryland, thereby terminating the construction in just nine and one-half months.
- The Madonna statue portrays a pinkish, stony-faced pioneer mother dressed in a long attire and bonnet, holding a baby in her left hand while grasping a rifle in her right hand. Also, the monument addresses a little child clinging to his mother’s skirt.
- The face of the woman has been designed such that it exudes character, beauty and gentleness, all characteristics of a mother’s responsibilities. All in all, the mother stands strong in solidity.
- The 12 spectacular Madonnas have been placed in Springfield, Ohio; Wheeling, West Virginia; Council Grove, Kansas; Lexington, Missouri; Lamar, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Springerville, Arizona; Vandalia, Illinois; Richmond, Indiana; Beallsville, Pennsylvania; Upland, California; and Bethesda, Maryland.
- The Madonna of the Trail at Upland, California is believed to represent four different historic trails, namely, the Mojave Trail, the de Anza Trail, the Emigrant Trail and the Canyon Road.
- Each Madonna of the Trail is 10 feet tall, weighing about 5 tons. The base of the Madonna statue is 6 feet high weighting around 12 tons.
- The base foundation of each of the statues is 2 feet above the ground, thereby making the total height of each of the monuments as 18 feet tall.
The figure and base of the monument is prepared from a poured mass, called algonite stone, which consists of Missouri granite as the main constituent.