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Standing utterly alone in the windswept plateau of Albany County, Wyoming, a couple of miles off Interstate 80 and accessible only by a dirt road, is a 60-foot tall stone pyramid. The rock hewn structure was erected by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1880 to honor the brothers Oakes Ames and Oliver Ames, Jr., who were instrumental in building the United States' First Transcontinental Railroad.

Oliver Ames was the president of the Union Pacific Railroad, while his brother Oakes was a Massachusetts congressman. But before they assumed their respective positions, the brothers ran a successful business selling axes and shovels to gold-seekers in California, and making millions in the process. The duo later supplied shovels to the government during the Civil War, for excavating the Panama Canal, for mining Pennsylvania coal fields, and for digging the New York subway system.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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