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“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 route. Until 1901, when the railroad was relocated several miles to the south, it passed close by the north side of the monument where once stood the rail town of Sherman.
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, even though in 1873 he was implicated in a scandal relative to financing the construction of the railroad.
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.”
Text on the plaque next to the monument
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.