Our Lady of the Rockies is one of the most beautiful landmarks inMontana, and this Big Thing To See has a beautiful story behind its creation!
As the 2nd Biggest Statue in the USA (only New York City’sStatue of Liberty is taller), and the Tallest Statue in the West, Our Lady of the Rockies is a representation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and stands just over 88 1/2 feet tall. She is 48 feet wide from fingertip to fingertip, and the statue alone weighs 51 tons… 80 tons if you add the deck, scaffolds and ladders!
She stands atop the Continental Divide (the mountainous divide separating the Pacific Ocean watershed from the Atlantic) and looks over Butte, Montana at an elevation of 8,510 feet – an amazing 3,500 feet above the town!
This Big Thing To See was the idea of Butte’s Bob O’Bill, whose wife was suffering from cancer back in 1979. As he prayed for her health, he promised the Blessed Virgin Mary that he would build a 5 foot tall statue of Mary on his property, if only his wife would recover…
When his wife did recover, he began to fulfill his promise. However, other workers and people in Butte grasped onto the idea and decided to build a Giant Statue on one of the nearby mountaintops. (It may have been inspired by the statue of Christ the Redeemer, built in 1931 and overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.)
Our Lady of the Rockies was designed by retired engineer Laurien Eugene Riehl, who donated his time and work. The materials and work were also donated by the people of Butte, and the statue was constructed on grounds owned by Joe Roberts, then airlifted by the Army National Guard from Roberts Rocky Mountain Equipment to its present site.
The volunteer project began December 29, 1979, and was completed on December 20, 1985.
You can drive your rental car to Butte at any time of year, of course, but we recommend that you visit between June and September. Stop at the Our Lady of the Rockies retail shop at Butte Plaza Mall. From there you can take a tour bus in comfort up the mountain to visit this Big Statue! Multiple trips are offered daily, weather permitting.
So park your car rental at the shop, 3100 Harrison Avenue in Butte, and enjoy a pilgrimage to visit this beautiful Big Thing To See!