Elm Grove in Ohio County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
The Madonna of the Trail
A total of 12 statues were placed along the route of the National Road. At that time, the route known as the National Road was a transcontinental highway, sometimes called the National Old Trails Road. It included the original section
This specific monument was dedicated on July 7th, 1926, the first being in Ohio just 3 days earlier on July 4th. The work of creating and placing the statues was done in cooperation with the National Old Trails Road Association. The Association, with its president, Harry S. Truman, later U.S. President, provided for the cost of erecting the monuments.
All of the Madonnas are identical. They were cast in an amalgam of crushed granite, stone, cement and lead ore known as “algonite”. A primary ingredient was a pinkish Missouri granite.
The statue is 10 feet tall and sits on a 6 foot base. An additional 2 foot foundation makes the monument 18 feet tall, weighing over 17 tons.
Dedication inscriptions are carved into the base. The text on the inscriptions varies with the site.
The original National Road extended from Cumberland, MD to Vandalia, IL. Often referred
“We must not allow our past to slip away from us, but talk to our history, teach our history and live surrounded by its memorials.” —Mrs. Charles Oliver Norton, Nebraska DAR – 1909.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers • Women. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #33 Harry S. Truman, the Madonnas of the Trail, and the The Historic National Road series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1889.
Location. 40° 3.343′ N, 80° 40.158′ Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wheeling WV 26003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The National Pike (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Madonna of the Trail (a few steps from this marker); Sara Lucy Bagby (a few steps from this marker); Joseph Thoburn (a few steps from this marker); Jesse Lee Reno (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elm Grove.
More about this marker. This interpretative panel is one of “The Historic National Road in West Virginia — The road that built the nation” markers.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 29, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,400 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 29, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on April 8, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 10. submitted on April 9, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 11, 12, 13. submitted on April 8, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.