At an elevation of 8,247 feet, this monument stands at what once was the highest point on the route of the Union Pacific Railroad in Buford, WY. The tracks were rerouted a few miles to the south in 1901, but the monument still looms over the surrounding plains and can be easily accessed from Interstate 80.
Completed in 1882 at a cost of $64,000, the structure honors Oakes and Oliver Ames, financiers and politicians whose business skills were largely responsible for the completion of the transcontinental railroad. The Ames brothers took control of the management and financing of the Union Pacific portion of the railroad at President Abraham Lincoln’s request. Prior to their involvement with the railroad, only 12 miles of track had been completed. Not long after the railroads completion in 1869, however, Oakes Ames found himself at the center of a massive scandal concerning the railroad’s financing.