Ames Brothers Pyramid – Buford, Wyoming

Ames Brothers Pyramid – Buford, Wyoming

What you don’t expect to see in Wyoming is a giant pyramid standing in the middle of nowhere but here is a 60 ft high and 60 ft wide creation.  Why is it there?  Well, it’s because of the intercontinental railroad, government corruption and a railroad trying to put the names of the two major investors in the railroad back into the “good guy” column of the era.

Back in the 1800’s, two brothers, Oakes and Oliver Ames made their fortune, one spade at a time.  The wealthy brothers then turned their attention to the transcontinental railroad, which only made sense, since their company provided many of the tools used in its construction.  Oakes and Oliver were actively involved in raising the money necessary to complete the rail line.  Oakes also used his fortune to help secure a spot in congress.

Had Oakes not gotten into congress perhaps the pyramid would not have been built and corruption would not have tarnished the names of both the brothers.  Oakes used his connections in the congress to get special funding legislation through congress.  While the railroad got built with Oliver as President of the construction company, and the final spike was driven in the trains started running coast to coast the construction company investors got rich and the workers went without pay.  Financial hard-times didn’t affect the investors but caused many problems for the workers.  An investigation revealed that the construction company had charged charged Union Pacific too much, and the railroad paid the bills with government funds.  Oakes became known as “Hoax”, and took most of the blame for the scandal.  He died of a stroke, months later.

Due to the black mark on the brothers, Union Pacific railroad decided to build a memorial to them that would help to put them back in the good graces of the public.  The pink granite stone was quarried just three miles from the spot the pyramid was built.  Both Oliver and Oakes busts were sculpted on two corners of the pyramid.  The pyramid cost $65,000 to build in 1882, quite a large sum of money for the time.

Now there stands this pyramid to honor two of the key players in the railroad but both have been more or less forgotten and the pyramid gets only the attention of the curious road traveler.  The railroad and the highways both moved away from the area the pyramid was built so it was forgotten, standing out in the middle of “no where land.”

You can only reach the pyramid by traveling a couple of miles off Interstate 80 on a dirt road but how many people do you know that actually have been there?

Directions: I-80 exit 329. The top of it is visible to the south when driving west, a mile or so before the exit. Turn south onto Vedauwoo Rd, then left onto Monument Rd. Follow two miles to the pyramid.

Phone: 307-777-6323