Tag Archives: madonna of the trail

Mile 362 – Madonna of the Trail (Ind.) – Richmond, Ind.

The Madonna of the Trail in Indiana.

The Madonna of the Trail in Indiana.

The Madonna of the Trail monument in Indiana is perched on a small hill overlooking the National Road in Richmond, in the southwestern corner of Glen Miller Park.

This monument is maintained by the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution, which maintains a brief webpage about the monument here. Indiana’s Madonna has never been moved, and underwent cleaning and rededication in 1988, 1998 and 2005, with the latest restoration being the most extensive.

To get to the monument from the westbound lanes of U.S. 40, make a right turn immediately before U.S. 40’s intersection with 22nd Street. Eastbound traffic should turn onto 22nd Street before making a right turn into the park. The monument will be visible on the right. Pullouts for parking are available along the driveway into the park. Informational signs are adjacent to the monument.

The Madonna in Indiana was the ninth monument to be erected. On the National Road, other monuments are in Beallsville, Pa.; Wheeling, W.Va.; Springfield, Ohio; and Vandalia, Ill.

Non-National Road monuments are in Bethesda, Md.; Lexington, Mo.; Council Grove, Kan.; Lamar, Colo.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Springerville, Ariz.; and Upland, Calif.

Indiana Madonna (2) - Resize


Mile 302 – Madonna of the Trail (Ohio), Springfield, Ohio

Ohio's Madonna of the Trail monument in Springfield.

Ohio’s Madonna of the Trail monument in Springfield.

Ohio’s Madonna of the Trail monument was the first monument to be dedicated in 1928, and it may have been the most moved of all 12 monuments since it was first placed. This monument is owned by the Lagonda Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Springfield (DAR chapters own all of the monuments).

Currently, the monument is along Main Street in downtown Springfield’s relatively new National Road Commons park. Originally, according to the city of Springfield and the DAR, the statue was along present U.S. 40 on the grounds of the Ohio Masonic Home, west of downtown Springfield. However, when the U.S. 68 bypass around Springfield was being built (1957), the monument was moved out of the way and onto an alcove along U.S. 40 slightly farther east. That location seemed to be pretty unfriendly to visitors, as it appears there wasn’t really anywhere to park, and that section of U.S. 40 is four-lane with a speed limit of 50 mph. The monument was last restored in 2003.

Finally, in 2011, Ohio’s Madonna was moved a few miles east to its present location in a new park. Finding the statue was pretty easy. The National Road Commons takes up part of a city block between West Main Street and West Columbia Street two blocks west of Ohio-72. Parking along the street is not an issue.

The monument was placed in Springfield's new National Road Commons park in 2011.

The monument was placed in Springfield’s new National Road Commons park in 2011.

Like each of the 11 monuments that came after this one, Ohio’s Madonna is identical to the others (the inscriptions on the pedestals do change though, to reflect local history). Madonnas along the National Road are located in Beallsville, Pa.; Wheeling, W.Va.; Richmond, Ind.; and Vandalia, Ill. The rest are in Bethesda, Md.; Lexington, Mo.; Council Grove, Kan.; Lamar, Colo.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Springerville, Ariz.; and Upland, Calif.

Below is a map showing the travel path of the Madonna of the Trail in Springfield. Note that the first location at the Ohio Masonic Home is approximate.


Mile 127 – Madonna of the Trail (W.Va.), Wheeling, W.Va.

West Virginia’s Madonna of the Trail has it’s own pullout for seeing the statue up close.

Coming from the east, West Virginia’s Madonna of the Trail is the third such statue one comes upon if following the National Old Trails Road route (along which the monuments were laid), or the second statue if following the National Road (which is part of the National Old Trails Road).

West Virginia’s Madonna statue was the second to be built, after Ohio’s monument in Springfield. The West Virginia statue was dedicated in July 1928 (see this previous post on the Pennsylvania statue for a brief history of the origin of the statues).

The West Virginia Madonna is the second oldest of 12 in the country.

Unlike the Pennsylvania statue, which isn’t as visitor-friendly (it’s right up against a higher-speed stretch of U.S. 40), West Virginia’s Madonna is set further back from the road and has a turnout dedicated to the statue, which sits in Wheeling Park. The City of Wheeling assisted the DAR in funding the erection of the statue, and helps maintain the grounds around the statue today.

Like all 12 Madonnas, West Virginia’s is identical to the others, and is maintained by a local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, which is in Wheeling in this case.

(The other monuments are in Bethesda, Md.; Beallsville, Pa.; Springfield, Ohio; Richmond, Ind.; Vandalia, Ill.; Lexington, Mo.; Council Grove, Kan.; Lamar, Colo.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Springerville, Ariz.; and Upland, Calif.)

In my opinion, Wheeling is a fascinating, historic small city, but it is one of the more difficult places to navigate for someone not familiar with the area. The steep hills and Interstates 70 and 470 seem to cut the city into disjointed pieces. So, while the West Virginia Madonna is located in Wheeling, it’s a few miles east of the downtown area.

A sign describing all 12 Madonnas at the Wheeling statue.


Mile 83 – Madonna of the Trail, Beallsville, Pa.

The Madonna of the Trail in Pennsylvania, Beallsville.

Located between the borough of Beallsville and the small community of Richeyville is the Pennsylvania edition of the Madonna of the Trail, one of 12 such monuments along U.S. 40 and U.S. 66 in each state through which those routes pass.

These monuments were planned by the Daughters of the American Revolution in the early 1900s, and were meant to mark the National Old Trails Road, which included the National Road on its journey west, as well as commemorate female pioneers who settled the American west. Each statue is identical and was designed by August Leimbach.

The Pennsylvania Madonna was put in place on Dec. 8, 1928 – the tenth of 12. Every monument is along the original National Road or Santa Fe Trail, with the exception of Maryland’s, which is in Bethesda, a suburb of Washington, D.C. In order from east to west, Madonna of the Trail monuments are located in Bethesda, Md.; Beallsville, Pa.; Wheeling, W.Va.; Springfield, Ohio; Richmond, Ind.; Vandalia, Ill.; Lexington, Mo.; Council Grove, Kan.; Lamar, Colo.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Springerville, Ariz.; and Upland, Calif.

Pennsylvania’s monument was rededicated in 1978, and was restored and rededicated again in 1990. The DAR’s Washington County chapter is responsible for the maintenance of the statue.

The Madonna of the Trail is located right between the central areas of Beallsville and Richeyville, directly across U.S. 40 from the main entrance of the Nemacolin Country Club. Like all of the Madonna monuments, it is free and open to the public. A small pull-out exists on the north side of the National Road (the same side as the monument). It’s important to use common sense when visiting the monument, as it is right up against U.S. 40, and drivers aren’t always aware of pedestrians along the highway.

Also, check out these other posts on Madonnas around the country from Jim Grey, Sculpted Portrait and Frank Brusca.

The Madonna as seen from across the National Road at the entrance to the Nemacolin Country Club.