The Ames Monument is a large pyramid in Albany County, Wyoming, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and dedicated to brothers Oakes Ames and Oliver Ames, Jr., Union Pacific Railroad financiers. The brothers garnered credit for connecting the nation by rail upon completion of the United States' First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. Oakes, a U.S. representative to the United States Congress from Massachusetts, asserted near total control of its construction, whereas Oliver became president of the Union Pacific Railroad (1866 - 1871).
In 1873 investigators implicated Oakes in fraud associated with financing of the railroad. Congress subsequently censured Oakes, who resigned in 1873. He died soon thereafter. The Ames Monument marked the highest point on the transcontinental railroad at 8,247 feet (2,514 m) However, Union Pacific Railroad Company twice relocated the tracks further south, causing the town of Sherman that arose near the monument to become a ghost town.
The monument today :
Union Pacific donated the railroad monument to the state of Wyoming in 1983. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is maintained as a Wyoming state historic site. Time and possible vandalism have destroyed some of the features of the bas-relief portraits of the Ames brothers on the monument. The Ames Monument is open year round, weather permitting. Work took place in 2010 and 2011 to restore the monument, and local officials are promoting the monument for National Historic Landmark status.