DAR Honors Madonna of the Trail Statue in Springerville

Lesley Baran, Melinda Eshpeter, and Rebecca Donatelli, members of the Gila Butte Chapter in Sun Lakes, with the Madonna of the Trail statue (photo by R. Eshpeter)

Melinda Eshpeter

Statewide members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) met in Springerville, Ariz., on Sept. 30 to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the unveiling of the Madonna of the Trail statue. From 1928 to 1929, the DAR commissioned 12 Madonna statues to be erected along the National Old Trails Road from Maryland to California to honor pioneer women.

At Saturday’s commemoration, a wreath of flowers was laid at the gravesite of Eliza Catherine Mann Rudd who unveiled the statue in Springerville on Sept. 29, 1928, when she was in her 90s. She was the oldest living pioneer woman in the Round Valley area at that time.

Following the wreath placement ceremony at Springerville Cemetery, DAR members met for photographs in Central Springerville at the Madonna statue. Members also brought food and gifts to donate to the Round Valley Senior Center and Food Pantry.