Sitting on a mountain top in Butte Montana is Our Lady of the Rockies; a statue of Mother Mary standing 90 feet tall. It sits on top of the continental divide and is easily visible from the town below. This monument was dedicated to women, and especially mothers, by those who worked on it. The statue is completely nondenominational and people from multiple religious faiths came together to see its completion.
Construction of the statue started in December of 1979, and took 6 years to complete. Volunteers blasted a road to the top of the mountain during this time, and poured 400 tons of concrete to act as the statue’s base. The statue was separated into 4 sections and on December 17th, 1985, a Nevada Air National Guard team transported the pieces to its resting place with a CHAR Sikorsky Sky Crane. Working on the ground supporting the Nevada Air team was the Montana National Guard, US Army Reserve from Butte, and civilian volunteers.
While the story and meaning behind the monument could easily be considered a, “feel good” community story, today the statue represents profit more than women, motherhood, christianity, or community. You cannot drive the road to the statue as there is a locked metal gate at the foot of it, which means locals can’t even enjoy their own monument. In order to get a close up view you have to pay an outstanding $16 to ride a school bus up the mountain with tons of other tourists. As with much of Montana, these shuttles are shut down for more than half the year and don’t open up until June.
Truth be told; it’s just not worth it. If you’re already in the area look up at the mountains, you might catch a glimpse of Our Lady of the Rockies. But save your money for something better, like the Bannack Ghost Town ($5 per car) just a few hours south.
🌎 5970 MT-2,
Butte, MT 59701
📞 (406) 782-1221