Madonna of the Trail – Albuquerque

Madonna of the Trail

This sculpture, Madonna of the Trail, is one of a series of identical monuments placed in the twelve states through which the National Old Trails Highway passed. The monuments were intended to memorialize the contributions of pioneer women in settling the American West. The speaker at the 1928 dedication of the Albuquerque sculpture was Harry S. Truman (later, U.S. president), who at the time was a county judge in Missouri. All twelve monuments were sculpted by August Leimbach. For decades, Albuquerque’s Madonna of the Trail was ensconced in a pretty, inviting neighborhood park. Unfortunately, the landscaping of the park was destroyed to make way for a large state government building—an architectural monstrosity of which Albert Speer would have been proud. The sculpture is now unfortunately diminished by such surroundings. Monument inscription: “To the pioneer mother of America, through whose courage and sacrifice the desert has blossomed, the camp became a home, the blazed trail a thoroughfare.”

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