Preservation, Road Trips

Madonnas of the Trail

In 1928, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed 12 statues across the United States to honor pioneer mothers, those women who, with their husbands and children, went out West to build their lives.

These statues were all placed on the National Old Trails Road, an auto trail established in 1912 to connect New York to Los Angeles. Future President Harry S. Truman headed up the National Old Trails Road Association and worked with the D.A.R. to have these statues erected, one in each state.

The National Old Trails Road was routed largely over the old National Road in the east and the Santa Fe Trail in the west. Today, very broadly, if you drive US 40 to St. Louis and old Route 66 west from there, you are on or near the National Old Trails Road.

Having driven the National Road from end to end, I’ve seen five Madonnas, in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Although the National Road begins in Maryland, the National Old Trails Road left the National Road so it could go through Washington, DC. The Maryland Madonna ended up on the road in Bethesda, which is not a National Road town. Also, the one time I visited the Ohio Madonna, it was inconveniently placed and I wasn’t able to photograph it. It has since been moved to a park with plenty of parking; I hope to go back and visit it one day.

The various Madonnas are colored from creamy white to reddish brown, and several of them have seen restorations, some of them more than once. Here, then, are photos of the Madonnas I’ve been able to see.

Madonna of the Trail

Beallsville, PA (2009)

Wheeling Madonna of the Trail

Wheeling, WV (2009)

Richmond Madonna

Richmond, IN (2009)

Madonna of the Trail

Richmond, IN (2018)

Madonna of the Trail

Vandalia, IL (2007)

Madonna of the Trail

Vandalia, IL (2014)

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!

Standard

Statue

Statue at Crown Hill
Pentax ME, 35mm f/2 SMC Pentax-FA AL
Eastman Double-X 5222
2018

I was in a Double-X groove after finishing shooting my Canon EOS 630, so I got out another roll for my next project: shooting the autofocus 35/2 SMC Pentax FA-AL on my Pentax ME.

I’ll soon write a whole post about the experience. But I wasn’t bonding with that lens on my digital Pentax K10D and wanted to try it on my favorite K-mount body. I figured that if I didn’t bond with the lens there, I wasn’t going to bond with it anywhere.

I spent a good hour in Crown Hill Cemetery with this combo. This is one of the best photos from the roll.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.
Film Photography

single frame: Statue at Crown Hill

.

Image

Serious statue

Serious statue
Canon A2e, 50mm f/1.8 Canon EF
Fujicolor 200
2016

This statue is in a courtyard at the Episcopal church over on Meridian St.

Film Photography
Image

In the bay at Rosses Point, Ireland, is this statue of a woman stretching her arms out toward the sea. Called Waiting on Shore, it was installed in 2002 to honor the women who used to wait for their men to return from their work at sea. Sometimes, those men didn’t make it home.

Waiting on Shore
Waiting on Shore
Waiting on Shore
Waiting on Shore

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!

Photography, Travel

Waiting on Shore

Image

Ready to Strike

Ready to strike (downtown South Bend)
Canon PowerShot S80 (review)
2010

Photography
Image