The Madonna of the Trail Gets a Facelift

Madonna of the Trail Restoration

The Daughters of the American Revolution, using grant funding helped secure an overhaul for Lamar’s Madonna of the Trail last week, beginning Wednesday, August 14.  Earlier this summer, the DAR informed the Lamar City Council they would be in town for several days in either late August or early September, repairing some cracks and giving the statue a thorough cleaning.  The statue is located at the intersection of East Beech and South Main Streets in Lamar.

Chris Ruth, DAR representative from Greeley, CO said S.I. Memorials, a refurbishment company from Kansas, works exclusively with monuments of this nature, including the national cemetery in Arlington, VA.  Ruth said, “We’ve been taking off all the accumulated grime and are using a powdered granite aggregate to fill in some hairline cracks that have developed over the years.”  Black ore and mortar are ingredients used in the process and the final touch will be an epoxy polymer that covers the statue from top to bottom, protecting it from wind, rain and sun.  Onlookers will notice that the statue is now darker than before because of the coating.

Madonna of the Trail 8-22-13 1

“This will be an application that lasts a lifetime,” she told Vincent Gearhart of The Prowers Journal, who was on hand for some of the cleaning process.  Ruth added, “Did you know we found a bullet hole in her back?”  The DAR member said additional materials were added to fill in the quarter inch deep hole that measured just less than three inches in diameter.  No one knows where that came from.

Madonna of the Trail 8-22-13

Twelve statues were cast, not carved from rock, Ruth explained, and the one for Lamar was erected on September 24, 1928.  “Of the 12 that were erected along the Santa Fe Trail, this statue is in better shape than most, especially compared to those back east that have been subject to mold and salts from a more moist climate,” she said.  The statue is in four sections and was assembled from its base which was also cleaned and protected by a coating.  The Daughters of the American Resolution are also working on restoration projects for the Santa Fe Historical Markers located in Prowers County and other states in the nation.  The Madonnas of the Trail are located in eleven other states honoring the pioneer spirit of the women who helped establish the country in the west.  The work was concluded in Lamar on Friday, August 16.

Here are some additional links from Chris Ruth to take a look at if you would like to learn more.

Madonna of the Trail, Lamar, Colorado
Blogger: – Facebook: – YouTube: and Wikipedia –

By Vincent Gearhart/Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber/Local BusinessCitycommunityEducationFeaturedHistoryLamarProwers CountyTourismTransportation


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