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Madonna of the Trail

New Mexico's Madonna of the Trail was originally installed in McClellan Square which was, at that time, a tree-lined park in a pleasant residential area in downtown Albuquerque. Lew Wallace Chapter raised money for its installation, presented the statue to the city, and installed a memory box in its base to commemorate the September 27, 1928, dedication events. Through the years, Lew Wallace Chapter has watched over the monument. We have planted flowers and shrubs around its base, cleaned it when needed, and held rededication ceremonies every decade. The statue and its box remained at the original site in McClellan Square for almost seventy years until the park was offered to the federal government as a site for a new courthouse. City government arranged for the statue's removal, repair, and storage. Chapter members worked closely with the City of Albuquerque Arts Department and served on the advisory board overseeing the renovation of the monument. The recovered memory box was in very poor condition; its contents were unrecognizable.

© Photo by Lou Candelaria

After the courthouse was completed, the refurbished monument was transferred to its current location adjacent to the courthouse at 4th Street and Lomas Boulevard NW. It stands a few yards north of its original site but still overlooks the ancient trail called El Camino Real or The King's Highway. The statue was rededicated at its new/old location on its 70th anniversary, September 27, 1998. A time capsule was installed in a pier on the site. Its location is well marked with a plaque specifying recovery in 2048.


©Photo by Carolyn Gonzales

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